Deswali belt has Hooda prints; BJP trying to make inroads

  • Sat Singh, Hindustan Times, Rohtak
  • Updated: Oct 06, 2014 09:51 IST

Son of Bhupinder Singh Hooda, two-time Jat chief minister from the Deswali area — which comprises Rohtak, Jhajjar and Sonepat districts, Deepender Singh Hooda was the lone Congress parliamentarian in the state who retained his seat in recent Lok Sabha polls after the Modi wave swept the state and BJP won seven seats.

In the October-15 assembly elections, the Congress, which won 13 out of 14 seats in the Deswali belt in 2009 assembly polls, does not have a single seat where a local party legislator could win on his own sans the support of Bhupinder Singh Hooda or his Rohtak MP-son Deepender.

If Deepender, who is suffering from backache stretched himself during the filing of nomination papers by party candidates in three Jat-dominated districts, his father Bhupinder and mother Asha Hooda also held public meetings.

It was Asha Hooda, wife of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who had to campaign during the Lok Sabha polls to seek votes in Punjabi-dominated Rohtak seats when local legislator BB Batra, also a Punjabi leader, failed to cut ice with electorate.

In Sonepat Lok Sabha constituency, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda toured extensively for party candidate Jagbir Singh Malik and gave a call of preserving area’s supremacy, but his call was not honoured as BJP’s Ramesh Kaushik won the poll.

Speaker Kuldeep Sharma and former Congressman Jitender Malik are in a direct fight from Gannaur assembly segment this time. Jitender had left the Congress and was fielded as BJP candidate from Gannaur.
Hooda, who came to the chief minister’s chair riding on his influence in the Deswali belt and after putting aside then party stalwart and ex-chief minister Bhajan Lal, did not shy away from pampering this part of the state with national-level institutes besides ensuring unprecedented development in terms of infrastructure.

As Hooda puts his feelings among electorate of the Deswali belt, “Mei thara, tum meray, agar mein bhi thara bhala nahi kar sakta tai koi bhi thara bhala nahi kar sakta, apni chaudhar nay bachha lo. (I am yours, you are mine — If I have not worked for you, no one can else can ever do it for you. Preserve your political supremacy).”

Upbeat after bagging seven Lok Sabha seats and coming a long way from being a fringe player in the agrarian state, the BJP is abuzz with political activities with his key players holding the fort at party’s state headquarters at Rohtak.

Om Prakash Dhankar, party’s Kisan Morcha national president, is contesting from Badli segment against Naresh Sharma of the Congress.

The saffron party was also ploughing extra time to label the Congress regime as the government of corruption, favouritism and of a select people.

Along with their manifesto, the BJP leaders have prepared an accusation letter against the Congress that they will be taking to electorate to discredit Hooda.

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