Bhupinder Singh Hooda calls for unity: ‘Have seen how quickly political fortunes change’

A few days back the rift in the Haryana Congress had surfaced at a meeting in Delhi where the party’s state unit chief Tanwar faced ire over the recent poll debacle.

Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda Sunday asked party workers to gear up for the upcoming Vidhan Sabha polls in the state, saying it was time to put up a united fight to oust the BJP government.

Hooda was addressing a meeting of party’s state unit leaders he had called in Delhi, in view of the Vidhan Sabha polls in Haryana, which are due in October. The Congress unit in Haryana is marred by infighting, which has been blamed for the drubbing the Congress received in the state in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls.

Congress, which is now the principal opposition party in Haryana, not only lost all the 10 seats, but adding insult to the injury was the fact that even the Congress’ stalwarts like Hooda, Kumari Selja and state party chief Ashok Tanwar bit the dust.

At the meeting in Delhi, attended by several Congress MLA, former legislators and former MPs – all Hooda loyalists – the former CM asked the party workers not be dejected by the results of parliamentary polls and asked them to gear up for the coming state assembly elections.

“There is no place for dejection. During the past four-and-a-half years, Congress has been fighting for the rights and raising the voice of Dalits, traders, employees, youths, women and other sections. We have been fighting their battle, which has entered a decisive phase now. Congress is the only real opposition left in the state as people have rejected other parties. Time has come to throw out this government, which only made tall promises, but failed to perform,” he told the meeting, as per a statement.

He said the nationalism issue raked up by the BJP and the “Modi factor” went in favour of the saffron party during the LS polls.

Hooda, however, said that “local issues” will dominate the Vidhan Sabha polls and claimed people will throw out the M L Khattar government as it has “failed to perform”.

The two-time CM said, in his long political career he has seen how quickly political circumstances can change and cited the example of Aam Aadmi Party, which swept Delhi assembly elections barely weeks after the BJP had put up a stupendous performance in the 2014 LS polls.

At the meeting, a few resolutions were passed including the one in which Rahul Gandhi was urged to continue guiding the Congress in this “difficult time” and not to think of going ahead with his resignation as the party chief. The party meeting also resolved that all Congressmen will fight unitedly to oust the BJP government in the state.

The meet also impressed upon the party high command to take necessary steps needed to further strengthen the party in the state. Notably, Hooda’s loyalists have been pressing for a leadership change in Haryana asking for removal of state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar.

A few days back the rift in the Haryana Congress had surfaced at a meeting in Delhi where the party’s state unit chief Tanwar faced ire over the recent poll debacle, prompting him to say, “If you want to finish me, shoot me”, a participant had recalled.

At that meeting, which had been called by Congress’ general secretary-incharge of Haryana Ghulam Nabi Azad, the MLAs loyal to Hooda, had pressed for a leadership change in Haryana over the party’s failure to win any of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

With PTI inputs

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