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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

Thanesar rally called off; hopes for Astroturf dashed

Vishal Joshi, Hindustan Times  Kururkshetra, May 26, 2013
First Published: 21:25 IST(26/5/2013) | Last Updated: 21:31 IST(26/5/2013)

The cancellation of a political rally to be addressed by chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at the last-minute here on Sunday dashed hopes of hockey aficionados.

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Hooda was expected to announce commissioning of an Astroturf at Kurukshetra University. Sunday’s Vikas Rally was convened by Kurukshetra MP Naveen Jindal but the rally and all public welfare functions to be announced and commissioned were postponed indefinitely due to the killing of 27 Congress leaders in a Maoists’ attack in Chhattisgarh on Saturday evening.

It was the first political rally of the Congress in the Thanesar assembly constituency in the last five years. In 2009 assembly elections, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) state president Ashok Arora had defeated the veteran Congress leader, Ramesh Gupta, from Thanesar.

Since then no Congressman, including Jindal, had convened any public rally in Thanesar, which is part of the Kurukshetra parliamentary constituency.

Though Hooda, his team of ministers, MLAs and MPs reached the venue in the afternoon, no welfare project was announced or dedicated to the public.

Hooda was scheduled to open a railway overbridge at Sundarpur, a public health centre at Tatka village in Babin block besides laying of the foundation stone for a polytechnic college at Umri, where the panchayat had given land for the construction of National Institute of Design (NID). All functions were postponed indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Lt Gen DDS Sandhu (retd), vice-chancellor of Kurukshetra University, has said the university was expecting a favourable announcement for the initiative taken by it for the promotion of hockey.

Kurukshetra city has a Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) centre but the players had been honing their hockey skills on grass and were deprived of standard training and practice.

Kurukshetra Hockey Development Group (KHDG), the brainchild of the SAI hockey coach Gurvinder Singh, in association with a veteran hockey player, Subhash Chauhan, started a campaign last year to get support for Astroturf.

The volunteers had gathered more 20,000 signatures, demanding the modern facility.

“Following the demand for a modern hockey facility, the KU had volunteered to give its land to the state government to lay Astroturf. After the executive council passed the resolution and the detailed project had been submitted to the state authorities,” said the V-C.

However, Hooda remained at the rally venue for less than 15 minutes and did not say anything from the stage. In their address at Hooda’s arrival, Jindal and Virender Singh, the political adviser to the CM, told the gathering that all functions had been postponed due to the massacre of Congressmen.

The political dignitaries paid homage to the people slain in Chhattisgarh.
 
PR at work
Though the rally and other welfare functions were put off due to the killings in Chhattisgarh, the organisers did not spare a chance to show their strength. The state public relation office and the personal publicists of Kurukshetra MP Jindal emailed photos of a "large gathering" that was motivated to attend the rally to the journalists.

While chief minister BS Hooda called off his functions related to the public welfare due to the Chhatisgarh killings, his chief parliamentary secretary Sultan Singh Jadaula dedicated a project at Rasina village of Kaithal on Sunday.

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