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Nothing ails the Congress... Every worker is united to see Rahul as PM’-HOODA

March 24, 2019 06:28 AM

COURTESY HT MARCH 24

Nothing ails the Congress... Every worker is united to see Rahul as PM’
Two-term Haryana chief minister and senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda dismisses talk of any infighting in the party’s state unit. In an interview with Aurangzeb

Naqshbandi, Hooda, who was last week appointed Haryana Congress coordination committee chairperson, discusses the party’s functioning, the Jind assembly bypoll defeat and the local mood. Edited excerpts:

The Congress seems to be a divided house in Haryana and that appears to be taking its toll in the preparations for the Lok Sabha elections, with many senior leaders reluctant to contest. What is ailing your party?

All Congressmen in Haryana are united under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. We will collectively organise a roadshow throughout the state for five days from March 26. We are well prepared for both the Lok Sabha and the assembly elections. Our senior leaders are all willing to contest. Nothing ails the Congress...

How do you intend to set your house in order?

Congress is a large and democratic party that accommodates and encompasses different and divergent opinions. To an outsider, it may appear in disorder but it is functioning perfectly, efficiently, harmoniously and cohesively under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.

The Congress is replicating the Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh model in Haryana by launching a bus campaign. Will it help bring the different factions on board?

Every Congress worker is united to see our party president Rahul Gandhi become the Prime Minister. The talks of infighting are largely a creation of the media and the bus yatra is primarily to dispel such misgivings...

A year ago, the Congress appeared to be on a strong wicket but now the BJP seems to have a clear edge. What has gone wrong for you?

This is, again, the media perception devoid of any ground reality. A common Indian is as unhappy or rather very unhappy with the BJP government as he or she was a year ago. The BJP is feeding people with empty spoons.

The outcome of Jind by-election

has come as a setback for Congress. Have you identified the reasons for the defeat?

BJP had fielded the son (Krishna Chand Midha) of deceased legislator Hari Chand Midha. He had the sympathy of the local people... Our defeat in Jind is being disproportionately blown out... The reasons were of local nature but have no bearing on the political mood in the state...

The first BJP government in Haryana is in its fifth year and claims to have cleansed the state of all ills...

It has been the most non-performing government ever in Haryana. The BJP has failed to fulfil any of the 154 promises that it made ahead of the 2014 elections. Farmers are in distress and their debts are increasing... Unemployment has increased manifold. Traders have been badly hit by GST and demonetisation. Law and order is worst.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal suggested a broad alliance in Haryana. What is your view?

We are strong enough to defeat the BJP on our own. Congress doesn’t need any alliance but being a national party if there is an alliance at the national level; naturally that will have an impact on the state also

 
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