With the assembly elections in Haryana just a month away, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda speaks to HT about the challenges he faces in the crucial battle. He admits it would be a ‘tough fight’ but quickly adds that Congress is well prepared and would win majority votes. Excerpts:
Surveys are indicative of a multi-corner contest with the Congress shrinking to below 18 seats in Haryana…
I agree it will be tough contest this time. But we are relying upon the hard work we have done in the past two decades. We are not bothered about what the surveys are saying.
Does the Modi wave scare you?
Why should we be scared? There is no Modi wave. Modi does not have a magic stick by which he can remove poverty or control price rise. Rail fare has already gone up as the price of pesticides; it’s certain that LPG prices would go up after the assembly elections.
Will you go in alliance with HJC if the situation arises?
I cannot answer that because I know we would emerge as the majority party.
Do not you think the BJP can sweep the Haryana polls?
Can it tear into Congress votebank?It will certainly not damage the Congress votebank. It may eat into other parties’ votebank though.
There is a long list of allegations against your party MLAs, ranging from Robert Vadra land grab deals to the transfer of IAS officer Ashok Khemka.
If you are in power, attempts to malign your image are common. I am not involved in Vadra-DLF issue. If anybody can prove my involvement I will resign.
Your party MLAs were allegedly involved in change of land use (CLU) corruption cases.
Tainted MLAs will be dropped, as those who have performed poorly in the past two decades. The party will not give tickets to them.
Was hooting against you at Kaithal pre-planned?
Yes, it was. I had intelligence report but I ignored that. It was a government programme and all happened in front of the PM. If I wished I could have walked out but I have respect for PM Modi, which is why I completed my speech.