Infighting within the Haryana Congress and deep divisions over selection of candidates for the Assembly elections spilled onto the streets on Wednesday when former state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar and his supporters staged a demonstration outside the 10 Janpath residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi here.
Congress leaders predicted the possibility of a large number of rebels entering the fray which could mar the party’s prospects. Virtually signalling that he was ready to take the party down if his supporters were ignored, Tanwar announced that he was a “human bomb”. He also asked his followers to keep nomination papers ready. “If you get tickets…well and good…otherwise you have my support,” he told his supporters.
Targeting Congress legislature party leader in Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Tanwar said, “They are not following any criteria. Mr Hooda is distributing tickets on his whims and fancies… And the AICC is siding with him…He says he will finish Ashok Tanwar…Tanwar cannot be finished that easily.”
Sources close to him said the “lion’s share” of tickets have gone to Hooda’s supporters. They said the Congress central election committee has cleared names for as many as 70-75 tickets but the infighting is delaying the announcement. They also said AICC treasurer Ahmed Patel spoke to Hooda in the presence of AICC general secretary in-charge of the state Ghulam Nabi Azad about the selection of candidates in the wake of rebellion in the party.
Addressing supporters, Tanwar said his fight is for ideology and is based on principles while Hooda is fighting to “save himself from going to jail”. He alleged those who are in-charge of candidate selection have even entered into some sort of tacit understanding with the BJP.
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