On Sunday, Bhupinder Singh Hooda had organised a 'Parivartan Rally' at his home turf of Rohtak where he declared himself as the chief ministerial candidate, "with or without the Congress".
Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar has hit back at former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, a day after the latter showed signs of rebellion during a rally in Rohtak. Speculations were rife that he may leave the Congress and float a new political party ahead of the October Assembly elections in the state and Hooda’s outburst has only added fuel to the fire. Speaking to The Indian Express, Tanwar said that Hooda’s actions fall in the realm of indiscipline and that no one is above the party.
“The way some announcements were made there (at Hooda’s Rohtak rally on Sunday), and the kind of things which were said there…I can only say that whosoever it may be, howsoever big he or she might be, nobody is above the party,” he told the daily.
On Sunday, Hooda had organised a ‘Parivartan Rally’ at his home turf of Rohtak where he declared himself as the chief ministerial candidate, “with or without the Congress”. Hooda also promised to ensure 75% reservation in jobs for the people of Harayana if he goes on to become the chief minister. Besides, he also promised to appoint four deputy chief ministers, free travel for women in roadways buses, free electricity up to 300 units, farm loan waiver, increased monthly honorariums and pensions.
Hooda had also criticised the Congress leaders for opposing the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. He said that many of his colleagues had opposed the decision to abrogate Article 370, adding that “my party has lost its way, it’s not the same Congress it used to be”.
Tanwar said that people must think 100 times before saying such things from a public platform. He said that Congress is the same as it always was. “It is the same Congress that had given so much to everyone; the same Congress that kept people as Chief Minister for 10 years,” he said while referring to the fact that Hooda became CM twice from Congress’ quota. Hooda had served as the CM of Haryana for two terms — 2005 to 2009 (first term) and 2009 to 2014 (second term).
Tanwar, whose head Hooda has been gunning for ever since his appointment as state unit chief, said that the former CM will have to explain his remarks that Congress has lost its way. “There are certain things which amount to indiscipline,” he said and vowed to bring this to the notice of the leadership.
“Indiscipline has been going on for long. It is time to put an end to it. I do not think the party high command tolerates such challenges or pressure tactics,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the party’s ‘booth samrat’ programme in Sirsa to strengthen the organisation structure at the grassroots.
Tanwar and Hooda have been at loggerheads ever since the former was appointed as the president of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee in February 2014. Hooda is unhappy over the party high command’s reluctance to replace Tanwar with a person of his choice. The state will go to polls in October and Hooda is seeking complete autonomy in the selection of candidates for tickets. Tanwar is a Dalit and he is believed to be a close aide of Rahul Gandhi.
While the BJP wants to increase its 2014 tally of 47 seats to over 75 in the 90-member House in Haryana, the elections may turn into a battle of survival for the Congress in the northern state. In the general elections held this year, the Congress couldn’t open its account as it lost all 10 parliamentary seats to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. In 2014, the BJP had won seven of the eight seats it contested, while the INLD had won two and Congress one.