National

Hooda may part ways with Congress

AM Jigeesh New Delhi | Updated on August 19, 2019 Published on August 19, 2019

Former chief minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, at the ’Mahaparivartan’ rally in Rohtak, Haryana on Sunday   -  AKHILESH KUMAR

Sources said the former Haryana CM may launch a party, ally with NCP, AAP and JJP

The first rebellion in the Congress ranks surfaced on Monday in poll-bound Haryana where former chief minister and Jat stalwart Bhupinder Singh Hooda appears set to announce a new party.

Hooda is believed to be in touch with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)’s Sharad Pawar; Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Arvind Kejriwal; and Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) for a possible alliance in Haryana and Delhi.

In Haryana, elections are scheduled to be held before November, 2019, while in Delhi, it is due in February, 2020.

Hooda and his son Deepender Hooda are set to leave the Congress alongwith a dozen MLAs to form the new party. Hooda’s Mahaparivartan rally held in Rohtak on Sunday and his stand against the Congress Working Committee’s statement on the abrogation of Article 370 made it clear that he does not want to continue in the Congress, despite a change at the helm.

New alliances

A senior leader close to Hooda said the new party will fight the BJP after forming an alliance with NCP, AAP and JJP. Hooda had said on Sunday that the Congress is no more the old Congress he had associated with.

Though Hooda was not in the good books of Rahul Gandhi, the party’s current President Sonia Gandhi had always favoured him over stalwarts such as Bhajan Lal and Bansi Lal. However, Rahul promoted young leaders such as PCC president Ashok Tanwar and chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

A senior Congress leader said that Hooda was negotiating with the high command ahead of the Assembly elections so that either he is announced as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate without any delay or that his son and special invitee to CWC Deepender Hooda is appointed as the President of the State unit.

Tanwar told BusinessLine that the Congress cadre are angered by Hooda’s comments.

“I don’t think they will form a new party as there is no scope for a new party in the State. But as senior Congress leaders, who got several positions for the virtue of being in the Congress, should think a hundred times before attacking the party’s leadership in a public forum,” said Tanwar.

He said the party’s State unit and the high command has taken the matter seriously. “We will take the appropriate step after discussions with the leadership,” said Tanwar, when asked if there will be any disciplinary actions against Hooda.

Tanwar is likely to hold discussions with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi this week on the developments.

Published on August 19, 2019
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