New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Kumari Selja, two senior Congress leaders of the state, used to share a frosty political relationship but now both seem to have sunk their differences to strive together to wrest power from the BJP in the October 21 Assembly polls.
With back-to-back setbacks in Haryana in Assembly and Lok Sabha polls since 2014, the Congress appointed Selja, a Dalit face, as the state unit chief and Hooda as the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) to regain its lost ground.
Since then, both have been campaigning together or in coordination in the state.
Congress leaders feel that they are the best allies in the faction-ridden state unit.
Congress leaders also feel that Hooda, a Congress veteran, who exerted pressure on the party leadership to replace Ashok Tanwar with Selja – a Dalit with a Dalit, as the party’s Haryana unit president, has much more responsibility in the state.
A senior party leader said the party workers have been re-energised with Hooda and Selja working closely in the elections.
The party leader said the Congress central leadership, by making Hooda the chairman of the Election Management Committee, has given a clear signal of “strong leadership” that was required ahead of the assembly polls in the state.
Another party leader, wishing not to be named, said that Hooda, who was twice the Chief Minister of Haryana from 2004 to 2014, has much more responsibility on his shoulders.
The Congress has faced a series of defeats in Haryana since 2014 Lok Sabha polls, be it 2014 Assembly polls or the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The setback in last three polls has brought the party onto its knees in the state and to revive the Congress in the state Hooda needs to ensure that party factions put up a joint fight against the BJP after several of its part leaders revolted and even quit.
The party leader said that Hooda also has to ensure that he is able to revive the party in its traditional bastions of Rohtak and Sonipat, which were wrested by the BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Hooda himself lost from the Sonipat Lok Sabha seat while his son and three time MP Deepender Singh Hooda lost from the Rohtak seat.
However, party leaders feel that Hooda, who has won eight polls, including four time Lok Sabha elections has a tough road ahead.