With assembly polls round the corner, the state Congress battling anti-incumbency and under fire over alleged land scam, today instead claimed a "pro-incumbency", even as the opposition hit out at the Hooda government saying it won't be able to "save the sinking ship."
Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who not only faces the challenge of retaining his own seat from Garhi-Sampla- Kiloi constituency but also take his embattled party to victory, expressed confidence in his party's performance at the hustings.
"People are satisfied with the performance of the government, that is why I can say with confidence that Congress is going to form the government for the third time.
"There is no anti-incumbency rather there is pro-incumbency. People vote on development, they are wise and understand quite well who can further accelerate this pace of development," Hooda said.
Asked about the challenges he feels Congress is going to face in these elections, he said, "for every party every election is a challenge. But we are confident that people will once again repose their faith in our party".
Main opposition INLD, which has again fielded Satish Nandal in the constituency being represented by Hooda since 2005, sought to puncture the claim made by the Haryana government.
Nandal said that Congress is on its way out and Hooda won't be able to "save the sinking ship".
"People will bring back Chaudhary Om Prakash Chautala. Both Congress and BJP put together will not get more than 25 seats across the state while INLD will win over 60 seats. Even in Kiloi, INLD is getting good support and we are confident of our victory," Nandal claimed.
In all, 15 candidates from the assembly segment are in the fray including Haryana Janhit Congress, Haryana Lokhit Party, the BSP, besides eight Independents.
The Kiloi constituency remained a Congress stronghold after Haryana was carved out as a separate state in 1966, but during late Devi Lal's (Om Prakash Chautala's father) time, the party won the seat on two occasions in 1982 and 1987.
BJP, which is ostensibly riding on a Modi wave, has fielded a lesser-known Dharamvir, a former member of the party's state committee.
Prime Minister Modi has been aggressively campaigning in Haryana and has kept Congress and the Hooda government's alleged land scams at the centre of his attack.
However, Hooda whose party Congress is eyeing third term in a row in Haryana, dismissed that there was any "Modi" wave in the state, saying the issues in the state assembly elections are different than those in the Lok Sabha polls.
On the alleged land scam, the 67-year-old leader hit back at his detractors, saying the opposition parties were "misleading" the people.
"Leave alone an acre, let them point out a single inch of land..I will quit," he said yesterday.
"Why haven’t they declared their chief ministerial candidate, if they are so sure of their victory," Hooda said.
Hooda asserted that issues in the assembly polls were different than those in the Lok Sabha.
Hitting out at Indian National Lok Dal, whose president Om Prakash Chautala is currently on bail on health grounds and has been addressing a series of election meetings across the state to woo the voters.
The chief minister said that people had "rejected" the INLD during the last two assembly polls and claimed the party will be decimated after the October 15 elections.
"Earlier, a reign of terror prevailed and ransoms were sought from jails. People know about all this," Hooda said taking a veiled dig at the INLD.
Hooda also charged INLD supremo Om Prakash Chautala of hoodwinking people by saying he will take oath in the jail.
He also dismissed Opposition's charge that his government had shown regional bias.