Friday, December 15, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Hooda re-elected HPCC chief
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, Dec 14 — Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the incumbent President of Haryana unit of the Congress, was today elected as the chief of the HPCC for a second term. He was declared elected unopposed by Mrs Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, Chairperson of the state election authority. As many as 109 PCC delegates out of 149 had proposed Mr Hooda’s name for the PCC President’s post.

The leader of the CLP, Mr Bhajan Lal, his son, Mr Chandra Mohan, former PCC chief, Mr Birender Singh, Mr Balbir Pal Shah and Mr O.P. Jindal, MLAs, were among the PCC delegates who stayed away from the proceedings despite an appeal given by the party yesterday urging all delegates to participate in today’s event.

Mr Shamsher Singh Surjewala, former PCC chief, was among the important faction leaders who was present during Mr Hooda’s re-election. Former PCC chiefs, Mr Harpal Singh, Mr Sultan Singh were also present.

Talking to reporters after his election, Mr Hooda, however, tried to play down the absence of the senior leaders and said it should not be interpreted as an instance of factionalism within the party. He said some of the PCC delegates, including Mr Dharam Vir and Mr Jai Parkash, MLAs, could not come as they were away. Mrs Sonia Gandhi, AICC president, had chosen him to be the chief of the HPCC for a second term, Mr Hooda said while claiming that it was a unanimous choice. Election had to be held since the Congress was a democratic party, he said.

He said the fact that he had been elected unopposed showed that the party was strong and disciplined. His appeal to the Congress members to give up their selfish interests and work for the welfare of people was not directed at Mr Bhajan Lal, Mr Hooda said, adding that it was a call to party members in general. He said he would expect cooperation from all sections of Congress members for the job entrusted to him by Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

Mr Hooda said now that he had secured the HPCC chief’s office, his first task would be to mobilise people against the state government led by Mr Om Prakash Chautala. The government has failed on all fronts and there is seething anger against the state government in all sections of the population, Mr Hooda said. He said farmers were particularly hardpressed like their counterparts in other states. He said the Congress had brought an adjournment motion in the Parliament in this regard but the BJP government in Delhi and the state government led by BJP’s ally, the INLD, were trying to divert attention from the farmers’ problem. Criticising the new taxes introduced by the government, Mr Hooda also demanded a White Paper on the financial situation of the state.

The INLD regime is booking its political rivals under false charges and it is also trying to gag the press, Mr Hooda alleged. He added that the Congress would vigorously start the “Bipaksh Aapke Samaksh” programme in the villages, to expose the false promises being made by the Chief Minister in course of the “sarkar aapke dwar” programme. The Congress has already started the programme in Rohtak district and now it will be extended to other districts in the state as well, Mr Hooda said. He said executive meetings would be held at state, district level and block level and finally a rally would be held against the state government.

Mr Hooda said the state executive and other office-bearers of the party would be announced soon. On AICC members from Haryana, Mr Hooda said Mrs Sonia Gandhi had been empowered by the HPCC for choosing the AICC members.

Large number of supporters of Mr Hooda had gathered in front of the HPCC office here and they celebrated Mr Hooda’s re-election by bursting crackers, beating the drums and by cheering for their leader. Mr Hooda made a brief speech to his supporters soon after he was declared elected.

Welcoming Mr Hooda’s re-election, Rao Dharampal, MLA from the Sohna constituency, said only a Jat leader could make a dent in the INLD’s vote bank.Back

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