At Rohtak rally, Hooda comes up with slew of poll promises

ROHTAK: After hinting for days that he will make some “big announcement” at the Rohtak mega rally, former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today merely announced the setting up a 25-member committee to decide the future course of action.

Ravinder Saini

Tribune News Service

Rohtak, August 18

After hinting for days that he will make some “big announcement” at the Rohtak mega rally, former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today merely announced the setting up a 25-member committee to decide the future course of action.

Speculations had been rife that Hooda could bid adieu to the grand old party for not heeding to his MLAs’ demand for change in state leadership.

With less than two months to go for the impending Assembly elections, it now seems certain that Hooda has changed his mind, at least for the time being, on the issue.

Sounding the bugle for the approaching Assembly poll, Hooda made several attractive promises to woo the electors who were present in large numbers at the ‘parivartan maha rally’ organsied here on Sunday.

He promised to raise old-age pension to Rs5,000 per month, waive farmers’ loans, restore pension scheme, provide Rs2,000 per month to women in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category and free travel for women on Haryana Roadways buses, make wheat and rice available at Rs 2 per kg for BPL families. He also talked of having four Deputy Chief Ministers, including one from Scheduled Caste (SC) and Brahmin community, on coming to the power.

He also promised free electricity up to 300 units to BPL families, recruitment of 50,000 sanitary workers and simplification of the GST.

Making his stand clear over scrapping of Article 370, Hooda said: “Four generations of my family have been in the Congress. My grandfather and father were freedom fighters. I cannot compromise with patriotism hence endorsed scrapping of Article 370 but my party lost its way over the issue (meri party bhatak gayi). There is no contribution of Haryana government in this matter hence Khattar government should not try to garner votes in the name of Article 370.”

The former CM slammed the Khattar government, blaming it for the deteriorating law and order situation, promoting corruption, rising inflation and unemployment.

Putting at rest the speculation of floating a new party, Hooda announced a 25-member committee to decide the further course of action of his action in view of the coming Assembly elections. Twelve Congress MLAs (except Randeep Surjewala, Kiran Choudhry, Kuldeep Bishnoi and Renuka Bishnoi) and a former legislator would be part of the committee.

“Since the issue pertains to the future of people of Haryana, I cannot take the decision alone. Hence, a 25-member committee will be formed to decide the further course of action. The decision will be announced later in Chandigarh,” said Hooda.

Earlier, former Haryana Vidhan Sabha speaker and Beri MLA Raghuvir Singh Kadian presented a resolution at the rally to authorise Hooda to decide the future course of action for ousting the Khattar-led BJP government in the state. People present in the rally endorsed the resolution by raising both hands.

“We will follow whatever decision to be taken by Hooda to root out the BJP government which has not only vitiated social harmony and brotherhood in the state but also pushed farmers, labourers and other sections of the society on the path of devastation,” said Kadian.


Surjewala, Kiran stay away

Of 16 Congress MLAs, 12 attended the rally. Randeep Surjewala, Kiran Choudhry, Kuldeep Bishnoi and his wife Renuka Bishnoi skipped the event. A former MLA from Rai, Jai Tirth Dahiya, who recently resigned from the post, attended the rally and announced support for whatever decision Hooda would take to oust the Khattar government from power.

Assurance on 4 Deputy CMs 

Hooda talked of having four Deputy Chief Ministers, including one Scheduled Caste, an OBC and a Brahmin, on coming to power.


On coming to power... 

  • To raise old-age pension to Rs 5,000 per month 
  • Waive farmers’ loans, provide Rs 2,000 per month to women in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category 
  • Offer free travel for women on Haryana Roadways buses 
  • Provide wheat and rice available at Rs 2 per kg for BPL families 
  • Give free electricity up to 300 units to BPL families, recruit 50,000 sanitary workers and simplify the GST 

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