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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Hooda sets stage for mega rally at Panipat

Vishal Joshi , Hindustan Times  Karnal, August 23, 2014
First Published: 20:30 IST(23/8/2014) | Last Updated: 20:31 IST(23/8/2014)

Ahead of the imposition of the model code of conduct for the assembly elections, chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is expected to make a slew of announcements to woo various sections of voters at a political rally at Panipat on Sunday.

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Named as Vijay Sankalp Rally, the political function will be held at Sector 13-17 of this industrial township.

After 10 years at the helm, Hooda is facing a tough time as several leaders, including Rajya Sabha member Birender Singh, ex-MPs Arvind Sharma and Avtar Singh Bhadana, have revolted against him and quit the Congress to join various fronts.

Ahead of the state elections, Hooda will try to showcase his popularity at the Panipat rally, where the entire leadership of the Congress would be gathered under one roof.

The lone Congress parliamentarian from Haryana and CM's son Deepender Singh Hooda is personally supervising the rally arrangements.

According to observers, the political event of the Congress-led government might be the last one before the schedule for the state electioneering is announced by the Election Commission of India (EC).

Analysts said following impressive political shows by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) early this month - party president Amit Shah's function at Mahendergarh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally at Kaithal, the Congress leadership was in a mood to show its strength at Sunday's event.

Sources said Hooda may announce an increase in the pension scheme for senior citizens, bring wages of government employees, including the state police force, on a par with Punjab employees.

The CM may also make welfare and financial benefit announcements for the socio-economically backward communities.

Meanwhile, the entire official machinery of the state is engaged in making the political rally of the ruling Congress a big success.

In view of a heavy inflow of the vehicular traffic arriving at the congested district headquarter from all corners of Haryana, the local administration has made several provisions to maintain law and order.

Nearly 2,000 policemen have been put on duty for the rally.

Deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi said directions had been issued to the heads of all government departments to remain open on Sunday in view of the rally.

"We have taken several emergency measures and all hospitals have been asked to remain open on Sunday to handle any eventuality. In view of the heavy rush, the administration is fully geared up to handle the political event," he said.

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