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Hooda sounds poll bugle, promises ‘New Haryana’

Jan Kranti Yatra: Former CM skirts comments on CBI chargesheet in land scam, says he doesn’t fear forces working against him and will fight for the people.

gurgaon Updated: Feb 26, 2018 16:05 IST
Rashpal Singh
Rashpal Singh
Hindustan Times
Bhupinder Singh Hooda,former Haryana chief minister,Haryana Congress
Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at the launch of his an Kranti Yatra at Hodal Anaj Mandi in Palwal district on Sunday. The event drew huge crowds.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Embattled former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda blew the bugle for the state assembly polls on Sunday promising to build a New Haryana by banishing the ‘caste system’. The state polls are scheduled next year.

Skirting comments about the CBI chargesheet against him in Manesar land scam, Hooda said many forces were working against him, but he was not afraid as the public is with him. Hooda has been named as an accused in the charge sheet in connection with the multi-crore land scam that allegedly took placed during his tenure.

He was addressing the gathering at the launch of his Jan Kranti Yatra at Hodal Anaj Mandi in Palwal district.

“There are several forces against me, but I am not afraid of them. If I fear anyone, it is of you ( the public). Through you, I want to tell them that I will not bow, stop, lose or tire. I have been fighting for you and I will keep fighting for you,” the two-time CM said as he made a slew of poll promises. He said that his yatra aims at fostering brotherhood and he was forced to launch it keeping in mind public’s pain.

The majority of the leaders who spoke at the event did not directly refer to the CBI chargesheet, but vowed to be by Hooda’s side if any action was taken against him.

“Some people think that pressure politics will work, but you (public) are our strength. Our intention is to serve the people, if elected and let our hard work and sincerity speak for themselves. We will also put questions to them (the Khattar government) about their performance,” Deepender Singh Hooda, the former’s CM’s son and a Congress MP from Rohtak, said.

“We call on you to unleash jan kranti (mass revolution). Go street to street, door to door. I will join you all,” the former CM declared from the roof of a bus given the look of a chariot, at the grain marker in Hodal on Sunday.The former CM suffered a fracture in his left foot after he fell during a public function at Panipat on February 12. He said that the doctors and his near ones advised him to either postpone the yatra or keep away from it, but he could not resist the urge to meet the people.

The former CM’s promises about employment, farmer friendly initiatives, infrastructure projects, women safety, welfare of people from the Scheduled Caste and other backward classes and improvement in law and order, among several others, almost seemed tantamount to the party’s unofficial manifesto.

According to political experts, Hooda’s yatra is aimed at projecting himself as the undisputed Congress leader in Haryana and is timed to counter the effects of chargesheet against him.

Other leaders at the event left no stone unturned to serve this purpose.

“Congress will form the (next) government under the leadership of Hooda. The party high command will soon realise that there is no alternative to him in Haryana,” former Congress minister Shiv Charan Lal Sharma said.

The yatra drew a huge crowd at the Anaj Mandi and the venue fell short of accommodating the people in attendance.

He said the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) have got ‘Hooda phobia’ and “it is not my fear but the fear of 2.5 crore people that should give them sleepless nights.”

“This yatra will be the last nail in the Khattar government’s coffin,” Sharda Rathore, Congress MLA from Ballabhgarh, said.

First Published: Feb 26, 2018 16:05 IST