Cry for Rajya Sabha MP Birender Singh as the next Haryana chief minister rent the air at a rally organised on the 69th birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi here on Tuesday.
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh was quick to feel the pulse of people as he announced that he would convey people's sentiments to United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi. Earlier, state party affairs in-charge Shakeel Ahmed and co-incharge Asha Kumari promised to convey the message to the UPA president.
The rally coincided with chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's rally in Panipat to roll out dal-roti scheme in the state.
Addressing the crowd at Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) ground here, Ahmed said: "Jo kuch bhi maine yahan dekha hai aur dekhunga, suna hai aur sununga, sab kuch UPA adhakshya ko bataunga. (Whatever I have seen and will see, heard and will hear will be conveyed to the UPA president)."
Digvijay said: "Maine or Birender Singh ne ikkathe political career shuru kiya tha. Jab main MLA bana, Birender bhi MLA bana or baad mein badte gaye (Birender Singh and I started our political careers almost at the same time. When I became the MLA, he too was elected legislator from Haryana. After that we never looked back)".
Looking at crowd, he said: 'Main to CM bana, par Birender Singh ko bhi jaldi mauka milega, agar aap Chautala or BJP ko haraa do to. (I got an opportunity to become the Madhya Pradesh chief minister. Likewise, Birender Singh will be at the helm, provided you defeat Chautala-led INLD and the BJP).
'DIALOGUE IS THE WAY OUT'
Congratulating Birender for holding a massive rally, union minister for social justice and empowerment Kumari Selja said: "It is wrong on the part of the government to ridicule us (including Birender) for speaking out against regionalism and disparity in development works as we are raising people's issues."
Without naming Hooda, she said: "It is the responsibility of the leadership at the helm of affairs to take everybody along and make development transparent."
On factionalism among state leaders, Digvijay said: "The Congress came in power in the state in 2005 and gave good governance but I feel that something has gone wrong in the second term. Grudges of state leaders will be addressed on priority basis after having a dialogue with Ahmed. Soon, a solution will be in sight."
I GOT SONIA'S VISIT CANCELLED: BIRENDER
Taking a dig at the chief minister and his bete noir, Birender said: "Jo mere saathi neta, kush ho rahe hai ki unho ne Soniaji ki visit cancel karwaya hai, main aap ko bata doon, ki maine hi Soniaji ko mana kiya hai partyhit mein (Those of my comrades, who are rejoicing that they got Soniaji's visit cancelled, I must tell them that I told Soniaji not to come for the rally in the interest of the party)."
Giving reason for that, the MP said it was a difficult situation for Sonia, as the Hooda-led government was inaugurating the food guarantee programme and simultaneously, he was organising a rally in the memory of Rajiv Gandhi.
He said: "Maine hi Soniaji ko kaha ki madam aap kahin mat jayiye kyunki ek jagay gaye to dusri jagay galat message jayega (I asked Soniaji not to attend either of the programme, as visiting one programme will send a wrong message to the organisers of the other programme)."
Prominent among those who attended the rally were Digvijay, Ahmed, Asha Kumari, Rajya Sabha MP Ishwar Singh, Bhiwani-Mahendergarh MP Shruti Chaudhary, Uklana MLA Naresh Selwal and Sadora MLA Rajpal Bhukri.