CBI charge sheet may dent Hooda’s chances of becoming Haryana Congress chief
The charge sheet will provide ammunition to the Hooda’s detractors within the party who would like to use this opportunity to sideline the former chief minister.Updated: Feb 02, 2018 23:29 IST
The naming of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in a CBI charge sheet in the Manesar land case has come as a setback for the Congress leader.
The strongman from the Jat bastion of Rohtak could face more trouble as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing three more land cases related to his reign.
The charge sheet has affected Hooda’s chances of becoming the Congress chief in Haryana, replacing the incumbent, Ashok Tanwar.
The former chief minister, who is looking to gain control of the state Congress before the 2019 Lok Sabha and assembly elections, will find it hard to convince the party high command to consider him for the job of the state Congress president.
The charge sheet will also provide plenty of ammunition to Hooda’s detractors within the party who would like to use this opportunity to cut him to size.
Still, of the 17 Congress MLAs in the state assembly, 13 are his loyalists. In fact, most of the Congress MLAs who won in 2014 were from Rohtak, Sonepat and Jhajjar area where Hooda enjoys tremendous political clout.
The ruling BJP, which has often targeted the former chief minister on various fronts including for allegedly inciting violence during the 2016 Jat quota agitation, considers him the Jat strongman in the Rohtak, Sonepat belt.
His erosion as a Jat leader could prove politically beneficial for the saffron party and more importantly for BJP’s natural ally, Om Prakash Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), another Jat-dominated political outfit.
Hooda’s detractors within the Congress, Kiran Choudhary, Ashok Tanwar and Randeep Surjewala could also use the CBI cases to politically weaken him within a party structure which is being shepherd by the new Congress president, Rahul Gandhi.