Venod Sharma's grand plans end with a whimper | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Venod Sharma's grand plans end with a whimper

punjab Updated: Mar 09, 2014 20:38 IST
Vishal Joshi

In the end it turned out to be a damp squib. Former union minister, Venod Sharma's grand plans to make an announcement on Sunday - which he claimed would give a new direction to the politics of Haryana - ended in a whimper.

Sharma who on Wednesday quit the Congress has discovered to his dismay that not only his strategy to join the BJP and later HJC went haywire, speculations about his induction into the BSP also proved to be incorrect.

All he could tell the gathering at his rally --- Jan Chetna Mahayagya- was that he would work for any front backing the NDA's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. This, political observers say, was the best he could do in these circumstances in a hope that the door of the HJC, an ally of the BJP led NDA, would finally open for him.

Addressing a well-attended public rally here on Sunday, Sharma said that he had quit the Congress as the party that he served for 40 years had no internal democracy.

Sharma did not announce which party he would join but said that Modi wave was prevalent in the entire country.

The Congress legislator from Ambala City raised issues of the "unforgettable" anti-Sikh riots, poor development in north Haryana and demanded reservation on the basis of the economic condition.

"I have firm family relations with the late Bhajan Lal family and I give highest regards to it," he said.

On Thursday, HJC chief Kuldeep Bishnoi was to announce the induction of Sharma into his party but the plans were shelved after senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj expressed her annoyance to the proposal.

According to sources in the BJP-HJC alliance, Bishnoi is still keen to field Sharma from Karnal parliamentary seat while a section of the BJP's central leadership was opposed to it.

There were speculations that Sharma may join the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and contest from Karnal constituency.

But the BSP's state president Naresh Saran told Hindustan Times on Sunday that no such discussion ever took place in the party.

"There is no truth in the media reports. In fact the BSP is not even deliberating the issue. But if Sharma approaches the party, it may be considered accordingly," said Saran.

BSP has not announced candidates for Karnal and Bhiwani-Mahendergarh parliamentary seats yet.

Meanwhile, at Jan Chetna Mahayajna, Sharma said that encouraging political developments like fielding Modi, a man with a humble family background, as the prime ministerial candidate was impossible in the Congress.

"Culture of the Congress has changed where those occupying top seats have no manners to speak and party affairs take place in a highly undemocratic environment. A person with a humble background cannot even think to stake his or her electoral claim for the top political office of the country," he said.

Sharma blamed the senior Congress leaders (anti-Hooda camp), including Kumari Selja, Birender Singh and Phool Chand Mullana, for weakening the party.

"None of these leaders are willing to contest Lok Sabha elections. It has weakened the party and it had become suffocating for me to continue there. There is no check on what they speak against their party colleagues," said Sharma.

He said that districts of Yamunanagar, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal and Panipat in northern belt witnessed little development.

Sharma said the anti-Sikh riots were one of the most unfortunate incidents and more unfortunate was the fact that the accused were not punished.

"A judicial commission was constituted to probe mass murders of Sikhs at Hondh Chillar village in Rewari in 1984 but even after three years of its report is tabled, there are no results. I will launch an agitation if the findings are not completed within three months," he said.