Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's show of strength at his "Haryana Shakti rally" in this town on Sunday saw his detractors within the Haryana Congress giving it a miss.
Union Minister for Social Justice and Welfare Kumari Selja, Rajya Sabha MP Birender Singh and Gurgaon Lok Sabha MP Rao Inderjit Singh, all three of whom have been critical of the Hooda government, remained absent from the rally.
Hooda, All-India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and party in-charge for Haryana, Shakeel Ahmed and state Congress chief Phool Chand Mullana were present at the rally along with ministers and legislators of the ruling Congress.
The rally was organised to mark the completion of four years of the Hooda government in the present term. Hooda completed four years in office Oct 25.
While Kurukshetra MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal claimed that at least 12 lakh people were attending the rally, Hooda's political advisor Varinder Singh said over 14 lakh people were attending.
However, some areas of the 500-acre rally ground remained empty towards the rear.
Hooda, who had become chief minister in March 2005 in his first term, had opted for early assembly elections in October 2009. There were still six months to go when he went for early polls.
Haryana's 90-member assembly goes to polls in October next year.