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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Will not contest assembly elections under Hooda: Birender

PTI  Jind (Har), June 22, 2014
First Published: 20:49 IST(22/6/2014) | Last Updated: 20:52 IST(22/6/2014)
Senior Congress leader Birender Singh on Sunday hit out at chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, saying he will not contest the October assembly elections under his leadership.

"I will not contest the assembly elections under the leadership of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda," he said.

Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, and a known detractor of Hooda, said this while addressing an 'Insaaf Rally' organised by him here.

Singh had lost the 2009 assembly elections which he had contested from the Uchana Kalan segment here. He had lost to INLD president and former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala by a narrow margin of 621 votes.

Singh, a prominent leader from the Jat community like Hooda, further said that a state-level public meeting would be organised by him within a month in which he would make some "important announcement" regarding his future political strategy.

Further hitting out at Hooda, Birender Singh alleged that the state government has discriminated against Jind and several others areas of the state in the matter of development.

The Hooda government had announced several development projects for Jind and other areas of the state, but no action was taken to complete these projects, he further alleged.

"The government has ignored the interests of farmers and poor people," he said.

Earlier, speaking to reporters at Guhla Cheeka in Kaithal, Singh charged Hooda with centralising the powers.

He said that as a result of "centralisation of powers" the "common people, Congress party workers and even the ministers and MLAs are feeling frustrated".

"What is the meaning of parliamentary democracy if powers are not decentralised. If the appointment of even a peon has to be made by the office of the chief minister, then this is not democracy," Singh, said.

After ruling Congress' dismal show in Haryana in the Lok Sabha elections, Singh and a few other party leaders from the state including former Union Minister Kumari Selja had started openly challenging Hooda's leadership in the state.

The party managed to retain just the Rohtak seat, as against nine it had won out of a total of 10 seats in 2009.

BJP won seven of the eight seats it contested this time, largely riding the strong Modi wave while two seats were bagged by main opposition Indian National Lok Dal.
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