The Congress on Saturday handed over key poll-related responsibilities to Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s detractors Captain Ajay Yadav and Kiran Chaudhary in an attempt to put up united show for the upcoming state assembly elections.
Yadav, who had recently resigned as the state power minister but later withdrew it after assurances of “suitable rehabilitation” from the party leadership, and Chaudhary will both jointly head the party’s campaign committee.
With this announcement, the party has not given the charge of the key poll panel to incumbent chief ministers in both Maharashtra (Prithviraj Chavan) and Haryana (Hooda) and sought to pacify the powerful rebel leaders.
In Maharashtra, the party named revenue minister Narayan Rane, who too had submitted his resignation from the state government after the party high command refused to accept his demand to remove Chavan, as the campaign committee chairman.
While declining any change of guard in the poll-bound states, the Congress leadership had already made it clear that the incumbent CMs will not be projected as party faces.
In another decision, former MP Naveen Jindal was appointed as the head of the publicity committee with Ajay Sharma its convenor.
Many Congress leaders have maintained that the coming polls in Haryana would be “very tough” for the party given that these are coming barely
few months after the drubbing in Lok Sabha elections. The Congress won just one – Deepender Singh Hooda from Rohtak -- out of the total 10 Lok Sabha seats from Haryana.
This is also the first time that when the BJP is going to be the main challenger for the Congress in any election. All the previous elections saw a direct fight between the Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) of Om Prakash Chautala. In 2009, the INLD had an alliance with the BJP for both Lok Sabha and assembly polls.