The Congress on Friday released a list of its coordination committee with former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda as chairman, then withdrew it in less than an hour.
No reason was given for the withdrawal, but sources told The Indian Express that Hooda was “quite upset” with the development.
“He wants to be declared party president in Haryana, which is not acceptable to the party high command,” a senior AICC member told The Indian Express.
Despite repeated attempts, Hooda was not available for comment.
State polls coming up, party unit needs to shape up
The announcement and subsequent withdrawal of its election coordination committee seems to suggest that all is not well within the Haryana Congress. The impression of factional feud despite the party’s dismal show in recent bypolls is likely to bring cheer to its rivals preparing for Lok Sabha elections. While the Congress leadership would like to stay focused on national elections, the state unit may need urgent attention as Haryana goes to Assembly polls just months after Lok Sabha elections.
It was around 4 pm on Friday when AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in-charge of party affairs in Haryana, released the list of the coordination committee.
It said, “Hon’ble Congress President Shri Rahul Gandhi has approved the Coordination Committee of Haryana.”
Hooda was declared the chairman, while the members included Ashok Tanwar, Kiran Chaudhary, Kumari Selja, Randeep Surjewala, Kuldeep Bishnoi, Deepender Hooda, Mahender Pratap Singh, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav, Naveen Jindal, Kailasho Saini, Anil Thakkar, Kuldeep Sharma, Jaivir Singh Balmiki and Sardar Jaipal Singh Lali.
Barely 40 minutes later, the list was withdrawn. Party insiders told The Indian Express that “it was being expanded to make it more representative”.
Sources said that Hooda had been trying hard to be declared the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) chief, a post that is currently held by Ashok Tanwar.
Currently, out of 10 parliamentary constituencies in Haryana, the Congress represents only Rohtak, from where Hooda’s son Deepender is MP. Sources said that despite the support of at least 12 Haryana MLAs, Hooda was not yet being considered as the high command’s choice for HPCC chief.