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 a 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 has 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 as its convenor.
Many Congress leaders have maintained that the coming polls in Haryana would be “very tough” for the party given that it has only been a few months since their drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls. The Congress won just one — Deepender Singh Hooda from Rohtak — out of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana.
This is the first time that the BJP is the main challenger for Congress in the state, as opposed to the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). In 2009, the INLD had an alliance with the BJP for both the Lok Sabha and assembly polls.