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Bhupinder Singh Hooda admits: change came late

Haryana Election Results 2019: Giving in to pressure, the party high command, in September, made him CLP leader and replaced Ashok Tanwar with Kumari Selja as PCC chief.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh |
Updated: October 25, 2019 7:30:53 am
Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda interview on Haryana election results 2019 Haryana results: Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda watches the results at his residence in New Delhi on Thursday. (Express Photo: Anil Sharma)

In August, former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda publicly rebelled against the Congress and declared himself the chief ministerial candidate, “with or without Congress”. Giving in to pressure, the party high command, in September, made him CLP leader and replaced Ashok Tanwar with Kumari Selja as PCC chief. Hooda tells The Indian Express that if the change was made earlier, the results would have been different.

After winning 31 seats, what is your next step?

The mandate of the people of Haryana is against the state government. I have already appealed to the entire Opposition that the people’s mandate should be respected and we should all join hands — whether it is the JJP, INLD, independents or Kanda’s HLP. Let us see how they respond. I have not yet spoken with Dushyant Chautala, but a few independent candidates who have won are in touch.

If the change in the party’s state leadership was made earlier, would the results have been different?

Of course, the results would have been different.

Do you think the BJP’s nationalist campaign failed?

Talking about Balakot, Article 370 etc is a separate issue. At the Assembly polls, they should have listed the achievements of their state government in the last five years. They should have shown what they have done for the people of this state — be it traders, youth, farmers. Every section of society is upset with this BJP government. People of the state have shown their anger today and proved what I have been saying — that it is a non-performing government.

Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda interview on Haryana election results 2019 Haryana results: Hooda at his residence in New Delhi on Thursday. (Express Photo: Anil Sharma)

Almost all the BJP’s outgoing ministers have lost.

This reflects the non-performance of the government. Its ministers were full of arrogance. It shows that the government did not take any people-friendly decision. The state government did not have any achievement to showcase. Whenever they went to the people, they could not say if they have got any additional metro line, thermal power station, university, college, job avenues, industries. They absolutely failed in governance. The state which used to be No. 1 in per capita investment and per capita income in 2014, has now been reduced to being No. 1 in unemployment and crime.

Read | ‘Save this tweet’: Deepender Hooda reminds people of his week-old prediction

The BJP is staking claim to form the government.

It can do so, as it is the single largest party. But, morally, it has lost all right to do so. When your entire cabinet has been rejected, when the people have given their mandate against you, when the people have rejected you, you do not have any moral ground to stake claim. It is a moral defeat for the BJP.

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