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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 16, 2013
Continuing his exercise to placate Congress leaders ahead of the general elections, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda hosted a lunch for all former party legislators, and district- and block-level leaders from 12 districts at his home here on Wednesday.
He had hosted a similar function for all Congress legislators and ministers on Tuesday and another one will be held at his home in New Delhi on October 25.

Hooda hailed party workers as his source of strength and exhorted them to make Haryana Shakti Rally to be held at Gohana (Sonepat) on November 10 a success by reaching in record numbers. "Narwana, Tohana, Uchana, Sohna, Israna, Mullana, saara Haryana chalo Gohana," he said and gave directions to the party workers on the dress code for the rally.

For men, it is pink turban or 'patka' (a head gear for Sikhs) and, for women, it is pink 'chunni' (duppatta). The chief minister said some major decisions for the people's welfare would be taken at the rally.

Referring to the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) chief Kuldeep Bishnoi, he said that Bishnoi was spreading a false propaganda to eradicate corruption if he came to power. "I am not in the habit of criticising others but people know who is the mother of corruption," Hooda said, daring the opposition parties for an open debate on development.

Launching a scathing attack on the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) for trying to take political mileage out of farmers' issue, Hooda challenged the party to list a single step they had taken in the interest of farmers. "The state government has provided jobs to the youth and 65,000 more posts in government departments, boards and corporations will be filled soon. On the other hand, the previous INLD government had banned recruitment in the state for four years," he added.