Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said he has a desire to contest the upcoming state elections from the Indri Assembly seat as he was indebted to the people of the area in Karnal district where he spent his childhood days.
At a public meeting in Indri, the two-time chief minister said, "I am indebted to this land and I want to repay the debt. I studied at Kunjpura Sainik School and spent my childhood days here... There is a very special place in my heart for Indri."
Indri Assembly segment falls in Karnal district and is at present represented by main opposition INLD MLA Ashok Kashyap. Hooda is the sitting MLA for the Kiloi Assembly segment in Rohtak district. Haryana goes to polls in October this year.
Pointing to a party leader, Randhir, who stated that the 66-year-old Chief Minister should contest from Indri, Hooda said, "Randhir said that people want (me) to fight the polls from Indri. I have no problem, but on two conditions. I will fight from here provided people of this area say so and my party agrees."
Hooda further said, "I have a desire to contest from here as I want to repay the debt. I will put the views of the people before my party, which has to take a final decision." Hitting out at the sitting INLD MLA, Hooda said, "Five years have passed, but he has not raised issues of Indri." Hooda asked the people to elect a representative "who will raise your issues and serve all sections".
"We will give you such a representative. Whoever will be the Congress candidate and, as I said, I will also think about (contesting from Indri), make him victorious," he said.
Notably, opposition parties and detractors within his own Congress party, including Birender Singh, have in the past charged Hooda with neglecting north Haryana, including Ambala and Karnal. On that occasion, Hooda had showered sops on Indri.
The chief minister had agreed to build a rest house, a polytechnic and a 50-bed hospital, besides ordering road repairs, construction of a stadium and Rs 10 crore for Indri village from Haryana Rural Development Funds and another sum of Rs 3 crore for the city's municipal committee.
At the public meeting, Hooda also attacked BJP, claiming that the people were feeling "dejected" as the "true face" of the government led by the party at the Centre had been exposed.
As to Congress's prospects in the Assembly elections, Hooda exuded confidence that the party will form the government in the state for the third time in a row.