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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

Cong MLA for Punjabi leader as chief ministerial candidate

Vishal Joshi , Hindustan Times  Panipat, June 07, 2014
First Published: 10:57 IST(7/6/2014) | Last Updated: 11:00 IST(7/6/2014)

Ahead of the Congress meeting, which will be attended by the central leadership at Panipat, the five-time Congress legislator from Panipat City Balbir Pal Shah has demanded that a leader from the Punjabi community should be projected as chief ministerial candidate in the forthcoming assembly elections.

Besides the in-charge of the Congress affairs for Haryana Shakeel Ahmad and his assistant from the central leadership Asha Kumari, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and state Congress president Ashok Tanwar are scheduled to attend the meeting on June 8.

Talking to HT on Thursday, Shah said Punjabis comprise 35% of population in Haryana but they had been politically marginalised.

“It is unfortunate that all political parties, including the Congress has not allowed the Punjabi leadership to grow in Haryana. It is a high time that the Congress realised it and gave due representation to the community,” said Shah, former state Congress president while denying that he was keen to be CM.

Shah reiterated that he would not contest the election.

“I want to set an example that the veterans should give way to the younger generation. As I am 70 now, I will quit electoral politics forever,” he said.

The outspoken leader said, “I am ready to be sacked by the party high command for my candid views. I remained a committed Congress worker but now I see that the hardworking workers and leaders were not given a fair chance to prove themselves,” he said.

“In Haryana, no one bothers about development. Bureaucracy lacks vision and is not ready to execute projects. After I resigned from the assembly in August last, I returned only after the CM promised to accelerate the pace of projects. But there is hardly any improvement,” he said.

‘ACT AGAINST SELJA’

Balbir Pal Shah demanded strict disciplinary action against Rajya Sabha member Kumari Selja for making remarks against chief minister BS Hooda.

Calling Selja an opportunist, Shah said sensing defeat she lobbied to remain MP via backdoor.


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