All-out rebel with a cause
Rather than for his accomplishments as a member of Parliament in the 15th Lok Sabha, he would be remembered more for his invectives. Three-time Congress MP Rao Inderjit Singh (64) turned a rebel in the past five years of his third term.punjab Updated: Mar 03, 2014 16:24 IST
Rather than for his accomplishments as a member of Parliament in the 15th Lok Sabha, he would be remembered more for his invectives. Three-time Congress MP Rao Inderjit Singh (64) turned a rebel in the past five years of his third term.
Inderjit wields a considerable influence in southern Haryana – better known as Ahirwal. Son of former Haryana chief minister Rao Birender Singh, Inderjit comes from the famed Rampura House, an icon of royalty in dynastic politics of southern Haryana. He has also remained an MLA in the Haryana assembly on four occasions.
A minister of state in UPA-1, Inderjit, a prominent Ahir leader from southern Haryana, was ignored for a central ministerial berth during UPA-2 rule for reasons best known to the Congress high command.
Sensing that the Ahirwal belt of southern Haryana was being “ignored and discriminated against”, the Ahir leader, in his third term as MP, went hammer and tongs after chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, publicly accusing him of a regional bias in terms of development and employment. He even floated a non-political outfit, Haryana Insaaf Manch, and announced on September 29, 2013 — the birth anniversary of Rao Tula Ram who led the 1857 uprising against the British empire in Rewari area — his decision to part ways with the Congress.
On February 13, 2014, the rebel Ahir leader formally joined the BJP. Political experts say Inderjit had realised that there was not much left for him in the Congress.
“With Hooda in complete control, the Ahir leader did not have a say in the affairs of the state government. This was not the situation in 2005, when Hooda first became the chief minister and Inderjit was a central minister,” says a Congress leader who did not wish to be named.
What sealed his fate
Inderjit, in fact, was one of the few Congressmen who were vociferous against the alleged concentration of development and jobs in Rohtak and adjoining areas. Well before he announced his decision to quit the Congress, Inderjit had asked the Congress high command to make public the details of persons selected for government jobs in the past nine years of the Congress rule in Haryana.
He was also responsible for embarrassing the first family of the Congress when he demanded a probe into all land deals and change of land use (CLU) permissions in Gurgaon, including that of Robert Vadra, the businessman son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. This probably sealed his fate.
"I do not hold a brief for or against Vadra. But I do hold a brief for my voters who have elected me. Vadra, being a citizen of this country, can’t be above the law. If he has not done anything wrong, he need not worry. But if he has, then he will have to bear the consequences," he said last year.
Inderjit’s departure from the Congress will be a setback for the ruling party’s prospects during the Lok Sabha as well as the 2014 assembly polls in the Ahir-dominated constituencies of southern Haryana.
The Ahirwal region has 11 assembly segments spread over three Lok Sabha seats — Bhiwani-Mahendergarh, Gurgaon and Rohtak (one segment only) — having a sizeable presence of Ahir voters. The ruling Congress at present has seven MLAs from these 11 segments situated in the districts of Gurgaon, Rewari and Mahendergarh. His younger brother, Rao Yadvendra Singh, is the Congress MLA from Kosli constituency. How well Inderjit performs with a new tag in 2014 will determine his fate in Haryana politics.
Part 23 of 34,
Madan Lal Sharma, Jammu