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Rift between Bhupinder Hooda and Ashok Tanwar worries Haryana Congress

While state unit chief Ashok Tanwar organised a brainstorming session in Gurgaon last week, the camp of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has separate plans to take on the BJP.

Published: 22nd January 2018 02:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2018 09:42 AM   |  A+A-

Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda gestures during a meeting. (PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Widening crack in the Haryana unit continue to worry the Congress strategists who believe they can corner the Manohar Lal Khattar government ahead of the 2019 elections. While state unit chief Ashok Tanwar organised a brainstorming session in Gurgaon last week, the camp of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has separate plans to take on the BJP.

Tanwar, a Dalit leader, and Hooda, an upper caste Jat, do not see eye to eye on most matters, especially on the leader of the party in the state. For now, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has asked Tanwar to stay put, dashing the hopes of a change of guard in the Hooda camp. On January 17, the last day of the three-day brainstorming session of Haryana Congress, Tanwar led a bicycle protest rally to present himself as a leader of the masses.

While both Tanwar and Hooda attacked the Khattar government over rise recent in rape cases, Hooda led a delegation of party leaders to Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki in a show of strength.

“We will gherao the chief minister in the coming days over poor law and order situation in the state and launch a statewide campaign against Khattar government,” said Tanwar.

Hooda, on the other hand, has vowed to dislodge the BJP government and is planning a separate statewide movement, said sources close to the former chief minister.

“It is not clear who is in the driving seat in the Khattar government,” said Hooda. According to Tanwar, the brainstorming session last week dealt with issues like how to connect with the masses and gauge the expectations that voters have from the Congress.

That, said party insiders, is vital to understand why the voters in Haryana gave a simple majority to the BJP in 2014 despite it never being a strong player.

AICC sources acknowledged the rift in the state unit could derail the party’s attempts to challenge the Khattar government but could only express hope that it gets resolved.


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