It’s no wonder that Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is euphoric. When he claimed on polling day that the Congress would sweep the elections in Haryana, few ? and this includes some of his own colleagues ? believed him. He is having the last laugh now.
The Congress on Saturday swept aside challenge from a fragmented Opposition to script a repeat of its 2004 triumph by winning nine of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana. State elections are due in January 2010, but there is speculation the party may opt for early Assembly polls now.
Barring Ambala seat, most Congress candidates won by a convincing margin with Hooda?s son Deepender Singh romping home by a record margin of 4,45,598 votes in Rohtak constituency.
The Indian National Lok Dal and BJP alliance, which fared poorly after their split and reunited before the polls, are in ruins. The breakaway HJC and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), too, emerged as vote-splitters.
What worked in Congress? favour this time is the nationwide groundswell of support for the United Progressive Alliance. The division of anti-Congress votes in a four-cornered contest also benefited the party.