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'Surgical Strike on Congress': Ahead of Haryana Polls, Ashok Tanwar Announces Support for Chautala's JJP

File photo of Ashok Tanwar (Twitter Image)

File photo of Ashok Tanwar (Twitter Image)

The former Haryana Congress chief also announced he will also back senior Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Singh Chautala on the Ellenabad seat.

New Delhi: Congress's former Haryana unit president Ashok Tanwar on Wednesday announced his support to Dushyant Chautala-led Jananayak Janta Party in the assembly elections to be held next week, a move he termed as a surgical strike on his former party.

Tanwar grabbed headlines earlier this month after he protested outside Congress president Sonia Gandhi's residence here over alleged irregularities in ticket distribution. Later, he resigned from the party.

Later in the day, Tanwar announced he will also back senior Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader Abhay Singh Chautala on the Ellenabad seat.

"Abhay came to meet me at my residence at Sirsa in the evening. I consulted my supporters. I said if they have decided to support him (Abhay) on one seat (Ellenabad), then I have no issues," said Tanwar.

Tanwar's supporters were of the view that he and Abhay Chautala, seeking re-election from Ellenabad seat in Sirsa, have the same objective — of stopping the BJP from returning to power and to teach the Congress a lesson.

Abhay Chautala is the son of INLD president and former chief minister OP Chautala. His INLD is facing a crisis after a vertical split in the party last year because of a feud in the Chautala clan and because of an exodus of its sitting MLAs and other leaders to BJP, Congress and JJP.

The JJP was floated by former Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala in December last year following the split in the INLD.

Tanwar, who was appointed the Haryana Congress chief in 2014, has been locked in a feud with former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Last month, he was replaced as Congress's Haryana unit president by Kumari Selja and Hooda was appointed as legislative party leader.

Addressing a press conference here with Chautala, Tanwar said he left Congress with pain and now his workers want him to support the JJP. "My workers want to support JJP so we are doing so, Dushyant Chautala should become chief minister of the state," he said.

Tanwar said workers were ignored in the Congress because of "some arrogant people" in the party. "There are some arrogant people in the party whose hubris need to be destroyed," he said.

Emphasising that now Congress is forced to fight for the third or fourth position in the state assembly elections to be held on October 21, Tanwar said, "I have laid down the land mine for enemies and this is the fist surgical strike on them."

Tanwar announced his resignation on Twitter earlier this month and posted a four-page letter addressed to Gandhi.