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After Slamming Party on Article 370, Congress Leader Hooda Says Will Abide by Decision on Future Course

Two days ago, Bhupinder Singh Hooda had raised eyebrows by slamming the Congress' stand on scraping Jammu and Kashmir's special status, saying it had "lost its way" and was no longer the party it was before.

PTI

Updated:August 20, 2019, 8:13 PM IST
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After Slamming Party on Article 370, Congress Leader Hooda Says Will Abide by Decision on Future Course
File photo of Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
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Chandigarh: Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who has virtually threatened to part ways with the Congress ahead of the assembly polls, on Tuesday said he would abide by whatever decision a proposed committee decides for his faction.

Two days ago, Hooda had raised eyebrows by slamming the Congress' stand on scraping Jammu and Kashmir's special status, saying it had "lost its way" and was no longer the party it was before.

At the rally in Rohtak on Sunday, the Congress leader had announced he would form a 25-member committee that would decide the future course of action for his faction, which has been demanding that he be made the state unit chief in place of Ashok Tanwar.

The infighting in the state Congress unit has intensified at a time when the assembly polls are barely months away. Talking to PTI over phone, Hooda said the committee would comprise 13 sitting legislators loyal to him, adding that most of the remaining members would be other party leaders from the state unit who are close to him.

"The names of all the committee members will be announced on August 23. It will be authorised to take any decision and I will abide by it," he said when asked what was his future course of action.

Reacting to it, state Congress president Ashok Tanwar, who has been at loggerheads with Hooda for quite some time, said the statements and actions of the former chief minister, including the decision to form a committee, were an "act of indiscipline".

"No one is above party. No matter howsoever tall a leader he may be, no one can violate discipline," said Tanwar, whose removal Hooda's faction has been demanding for a long time. On the 25-member committee, Tanwar said it had no sanctity and cannot be formed, adding that constituting committees was the prerogative of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) or state unit.

Asked about his reaction to Tanwar's remarks, Hooda said: "I do not wish to make any comment on this. I have said what I had to say." At the rally in Rohtak, Hooda had promised several sops if he becomes the chief minister, seen as an open challenge to the party that is yet to name its candidate for the top post.

On Hooda saying the Congress has lost its way, Tanwar said a person must think "100 times" before making such statements about the party from a public platform. "The Congress is the same as it was before. It is the same party which gave so much to everyone. The same Congress that kept people as chief minister for 10 years," Tanwar said.

Hooda was handpicked by Sonia Gandhi to lead the state when the Congress had returned to power with an overwhelming majority in the 2005 assembly election. The party had overlooked Bhajan Lal, who was a strong contender for the chief minister's post then.

Tanwar said he would bring to the notice of the party high command about how a "conspiracy" was being hatched to weaken the Haryana Congress. He said the question now was who weakened the party. "The Congress leadership had always ensured strengthening of the party. Then why did the party seats get reduced?" he asked. "Who is responsible for it? Everybody knows about it."

Tanwar said indiscipline had been going on for a long time and the time had come to put an end to it, as well as factionalism. "I do not think the party leadership tolerates such indiscipline or pressure tactics," he said.

"Some people think everything is fair in love and war, but what has been done is not right."

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