HARYANA CONGRESS IN SHAMBLES

Hooda Manesar land deal case

Congress party in Haryana is facing severe crisis with the former Chief Minister indulging in some posturing before the state polls.

BY DANFES

They say that “Coming events cause their shadows before”. In a curious twist of events well ahead of the crucial state polls in Haryana, the former Chief Minister Hooda is seen marshaling his loyalists as a precursor to what may turn out to be an anti – climax of sorts for the Congress party. In the aftermath of he & his son having lost from their strongholds in Rohtak & Sonipat both, Bhupendra Singh Hooda’s position as Haryana Congress satrap is getting untenable with every passing day. He is clearly not a favorable candidate for the high command as things stand today. Under the circumstances, he may well be preparing for a transition to bidding good bye to his party & then begin yet another innings as a Jat leader resurrecting his image & galvanizing support.

The trouble began in Haryana Congress, when Bhupinder Hooda announced that he would be launching a campaign against Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP govt, come July. The former chief minister will hold a series of press meetings in Chandigarh and Delhi against Khattar-led BJP government. The genesis of this development is the growing unease of the Congress high command as well as the local leaders who feel marginalized after the drubbing in Lok Sabha Polls. It may be recalled that Congress party failed to win a single seat in the state. Amidst growing clamor for a revamp of the party’s organizational structure and change of guard, two-time Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has called a meeting of his loyalists & supporters. He may well have seen the writing on the wall.

Hooda is planning to launch a campaign for Assembly polls due later this year with a series of press meetings for exposing the alleged corruption in Manohar Lal Khattar-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Haryana.The Congress failed to win a single seat out of a total of 10 Lok Sabha constituencies in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. To make things worse, it also ceded the Rohtak seat, where in 2014 Deepender Hooda had managed to buck the Narendra Modi wave. The loss in Rohtak has dealt a double blow for the influential Hooda family. Hooda also lost from the neighboring Sonipat seat.

While the high command is yet to take a call on fixing responsibilities in states, Hooda has swung into combat mode. He has called the meeting of his loyalists in Delhi to send out a message to the party high command Hooda is also planning to swing into election mode from July itself. The former chief minister will hold a series of press meetings in Chandigarh and Delhi against Khattar-led BJP government.”Every week there will be an expose against Khattar government,” a party leader said.”From recruitments to mining, Khattar government is neck deep into corruption and we will expose them before masses,” he added.

With such turbulence looming large over the grand old party & with vacuum continuing at the top, the letter written by veteran Congressman & Olympian Aslam Sher Kahn assumes a lot of significance.  Thus is one such candid memo that he has sent to Rahul Gandhi that is both heartwarming as well as of deep concern. There is plapable anxiety & depression in the rank & file of the old congress party who feel humiliated & orphaned under the circumstances. True Rahul must be hurt beyond comprehension that despite giving it all he could not get the same level of support & enthusiasm by his fellow congressmen. It is also true that he alone would be heard shouting on top of his voice about Rafale & Chowkidaar Chorhai& no other senior congressman or woman was echoing a similar sentiment during the recently concluded elections. This is baffling to say the least. However a loss regardless of its magnitude & the hurt it may cause is no reason to run away from the battlefield or to hang the boots. That would be certainly playing into the opponents hands.

With inordinate delay in picking its President, interim or full time, Congress is further alienating itself from the public perception & like any defeated warrior, it is looking clueless for the time being. That doesn’t bode well at all for the party that once ruled interminably for decades on end. They haven’t lost everything by losing this 2019 election, even when their expectations may have been much higher. It is time that congress woke up to the changed reality, travelled far & wide, enrolled cadre, went door to door in the next five years, pocked up young, energetic & dynamic leaders who could galvanize & resonate with the young India that we are. Only then they would stand some chance of a revival & wresting power back from the marauding champion party.

Or else the fissures & the cracks may only widen. What is worse is that with crucial elections on the anvil in the next few months in Haryana & Maharashtra to begin with followed by few others early next year, Congress must begin some rearguard action to take the mantle of leading the masses once again lest they are down, dumped & dusted. Someone from within the party like Hooda or a Scindia, a Pilot or a Aiyar or a Azad or a Moily may then contemplate some alternate action in order to keep the flag fluttering. Congress must see these developments holistically & take a realistic look at things including the offer by Aslam Sher khan to resurrect the party from its recess in the interim.