Union minister and Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh on Sunday showed readiness to be the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for Haryana, where assembly polls are due in October. The veteran Ahir community leader was a veteran Congressman and sitting MP before he switched loyalties ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and won on the BJP ticket.
On Sunday, when asked about CM candidature, the veteran Ahir leader said he was “ready to accept the challenge if the party leadership asks”. “I have remained MP from Gurgaon for 10 years and I have experience of nearly 25 years in state politics. From those details, one can judge [as to] where I may be more capable,” he said during an interaction as he halted in Karnal after attending the BJP’s state executive meeting in neighbouring Kurukshetra.
Rao Inderjit is the first BJP leader to express a desire to be in the race for the CM’s chair in the forthcoming assembly polls. The BJP is currently in alliance with the Haryana Janhit Congress led by Kuldeep Bishnoi, who was to be the alliance’s CM candidate as per an earlier arrangement.
Now, as Bishnoi lost the Lok Sabha election even as the BJP won seven of Haryana’s 10 seats, equations are likely to change, particularly since the state BJP leaders have been making noises to that effect.
The issue of alliance with the HJC was among issues discussed at length at the BJP executive meet, said Rao Inderjit, though he refused to divulge further details.
“It is the prerogative of the central BJP leadership to finalise the issues pertaining to the alliance. But the party is determined to win the forthcoming assembly polls,” he said.
Rao Inderjit, who is MoS (independent charge) for planning, also justified the recent hike in railway fare, saying that the BJP did not support populism at the cost of national interest: “Indian railways is in a financial crisis, and the Centre has to take the required measures.”
On recent reports regarding the uncertain fate of the Planning Commission, Rao Inderjit acknowledged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is contemplating whether or not to continue having the commission. “There is no hurry to appoint the deputy chairperson (for the commission, chaired by the Prime Minister by default).”