Forty three year old Induraj Narwal, fondly called Bhalu (bear) by family and friends, comes from a farmer’s family and has been a committed Congress worker for the last over 15 years. A former Zila Parishad member, Narwal, who has studied till 10+2 and holds a diploma certificate in physical education, was not expecting the party ticket for Baroda Assembly bypoll.
However, Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda reposed faith in Narwal, who is also considered close to former’s Rajya Sabha member son Deepender Hooda. While the ruling BJP-JJP alliance in Haryana put its might behind party nominee and Olympian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, Narwal let the father-son duo of Hoodas lead his campaign. In a conversation with VARINDER BHATIA, Narwal attributes his victory to the people of his constituency and the relentless support and guidance that he got from the Hoodas.
BJP-JJP alliance called you a “nobody”, a man who’s approach ends at Hooda’s doorstep, while Yogeshwar Dutt has an access even to the Prime Minister and President. How did you counter it?
BJP-JJP kept calling me an ordinary party worker. They kept saying that I can only reach Bhupinder Hooda and Deepender Hooda. In one way, they were right. I respect Chaudhary Bhupinder Singh Hooda as I respect my father and Deepender has always been a brother to me. They are the ones who have created this ordinary worker into a man whom people of Baroda today chose as their representative in the Vidhan Sabha. For me, they both are supreme. And it is not only my feeling. People of not only Baroda but entire Haryana today know that Bhupinder Singh Hooda is their true well-wisher and their real leader.
Do you think that farmers’ agitation led to the BJP-JJP’s defeat?
Farmers agitation is only one factor. I come from a family of farmers. We know the kind of difficulties a farmer faces from the point he sows to when he harvests a crop. People of Baroda have today outrightly rejected the three (central agri) laws that BJP-JJP government in Haryana had been defending. People from all the professions are protesting against the state government. This government has forced them to be out on the road and raise their voice.
How will you, being in opposition, ensure Baroda’s development?
With the support and guidance of Chaudhary Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Deepender Hooda, I will do everything possible to raise the voice of people of my constituency. I shall ensure that the state government listens to voice of the people of my constituency.
Since you are a Jat, do you think that caste played a factor in bypoll verdict?
Congress has never played caste politics. It is not only one community that voted for me, but people of all 36-biraadari (castes) have blessed me with their support. I am not a leader, I am worker who will remain among the people of my constituency and serve them. People of Baroda accepted me as their son, brother, nephew and a friend and I will always try my best to keep their faith intact. People of Haryana know today that even the son of an ordinary farmer like me can become a legislator. This wave of change will not stop in Baroda only, but will continue to sweep through Haryana.