Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s failure to stem the rebellion in his party and the government and the Congress leadership’s persistence with him appears to be costing the party dear ahead of the coming assembly elections in the state.
Though Hooda has been under fire from his detractors within the Congress for a long time now, the infighting escalated after the party’s dismal show in the recent Lok Sabha elections. The Congress could manage to win just one of the 10 seats from the state.
Senior leaders Choudhary Birender Singh, Kumari Selja and others attributed the party’s near-rout to Hooda’s policies and style of functioning.
Just before the elections, many Congress leaders, including former Union minister Rao Inderjit Singh, left the party to join the BJP, holding Hooda responsible for their jumping the ship.
Birender Singh had already declared that he would not contest the upcoming state polls under Hooda’s leadership. Having been in the Congress for the past 42 years, he is set to join the BJP sometime soon.
The crisis intensified on Tuesday when power minister Captain Ajay Yadav quit the government, attacking Hooda for “failing to learn lessons” from the recent poll debacle.
Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed stepped up efforts to persuade Yadav to take back his resignation.
By evening, it emerged that Hooda will reject his resignation as a compromise formula.
Ahmed also said that he would talk to Birender about his meeting with BJP president Amit Shah, the pictures of which created a buzz on the social media.
Seizing the opportunity, Selja attacked Hooda over the Yadav episode, saying it was the CM’s responsibility to sort out problems in his government.