In a setback to the ruling Congress, Gurgaon MP, Rao Inderjit Singh (63) on Monday announced that he was quitting the party. A three time MP from Haryana (twice from Mahendergarh and once from Gurgaon) Rao Inderjit has been extremely vocal in criticising Bhupinder Singh Hooda's government on the issue of discrimination in terms of development and jobs.
The MP told a gathering at Rewari on Monday that he will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha poll on a Congress ticket. "I quit the Congress today,'' he said during the Shaheedi Samman Diwas to commemorate the martyrdom day of Rao Tula Ram.
Inderjit is the son of late Haryana chief minister Rao Birender Singh and is an influential Ahir leader in southern Haryana. His younger brother, Yadvendra Singh is a Congress MLA from Kosli in Rewari district.
His parleys with the BJP top leadership and growing disenchantment with his parent party had, in recent times, triggered speculations about his fate in the Congress.
The Gurgaon MP, however, had virtually sealed his fate last month when he demanded that the land deals involving Robert Vadra, the businessman son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi should be investigated. The remark targeted at first family of the Congress was, in political circles, seen as "point of no return" for the Ahir leader.
The MP has already floated a non political front -- Haryana Insaaf Manch. His daughter, Bharti Singh in fact recently applied for registration of a new party Haryana Insaaf Congress.
Inderjit on Monday said that he will hold the next rally in Jhajjar which is chief minister, Hooda's bastion.
I want to conquer Chandigarh now
Speaking at Rewari on Monday, Inderjit said : " Congress ki 35 saal purani paari ko mein aaj alvida kehta hoon or chahta hoon, ki ab mein Chandigarh fateh ki tayari shuru karoon"(I hereby conclude my 35-years-old association with the Congress party and would start preparing for conquering Chandigarh, the state capital of Haryana).
Rao Inderjit, who has accused the Congress government in Haryana of regional bias, as per jobs and development, had floated Haryana Insaaf Manch on March 3 this year at Pataudi in Gurgaon district.
The Gurgaon MP had also demanded that that Haryana government and the Congress high command should make public the details of all those persons who were selected for government jobs in the past eight years of Congress rule in Haryana.
Rao who also has four Haryana assembly terms to his credit has remained a minister both in the state and Central governments.
Making his apprehensions public, Rao Inderjit said that he suspected that Congress may leave him in lurch. "I did not want to give them an opportunity to have an upper hand. So I called quits myself,'' he said.
Challenge to Hooda
Throwing an open challenge to chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Rao Inderjit said that Hooda should resign from his assembly seat and he would resign from Gurgaon parliamentary seat to have a direct battle on turf of Gurgaon. He said that a direct contest from Gurgaon, would determine as to who is a mass leader.
Don't believe in party agendas
He said that major political parties often deceived people after coming to power. "They promise so many things to allure voters but after coming to power they only serve their vested interests,'' he said.
Recalling the 2005 overwhelming victory of Congress in Haryana, Rao Inderjit said that party was voted to power by projecting a different leader (read Bhajan Lal). But later Bhupinder Singh Hooda was installed as the chief minister by the high command, he said
Vote for personalities
Keeping his options open for the next parliamentary and assembly elections, he asked his supporters to vote for personalities rather than parties. "Exercise your ballot with an aim to strengthen my hands and bringing Raj to southern Haryana,'' the Ahir leader said.
Tit for tat for Hooda
Rao Inderjit said that since he and chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda studied together, he used to think that Hooda was a good friend. "Reality dawned on me when I was not invited for the Congress rally held in Bawal in Rewari district in February,'' he said.
The MP said that probably time has come to pay Hooda in the same coin. "I would now organise a rally in Jhajjar, which falls in Rohtak parliamentary constituency and is Hooda's bastion future. But I would not do what Hooda did to me - he said something and actually did something else. I would organise a rally on his home turf and not invite Hooda", he said.
Rao Inderjit has been extremely critical of chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda for concentrating jobs and development activities in his home district and the Lok Sabha constituency of his MP son, Deepender Hooda. Disillusioned with the present dispensation, Inderjit floated a non political outfit- Haryana Insaaf Manch which is now in the process of being transformed gradually as a political outfit.
Rao Inderjit, a prominent Ahir leader from southern Haryana wields considerable clout in Ahirwal constituencies. Son of former Haryana chief minister Rao Birender Singh, Inderjit comes from the famed Rampura House, an icon of royalty in dynastic politics of southern Haryana. He has been a four time MLA from Haryana and a three time MP. Inderjit has remained a minister in the state and central governments.