Hooda for action against Surjewala’s ‘backstabbers’

CHANDIGARH: Internal strife in the state Congress appears to have deepened with senior party leader Randeep Surjewala, who suffered a humiliating defeat in the recent Jind bypoll, accusing “some party leaders” of betraying him.

Hooda for action against Surjewala’s ‘backstabbers’

Congress leaders Deepender Hooda and Randeep Surjewala campaigning for the Jind byelection. Tribune file photo

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 4

Internal strife in the state Congress appears to have deepened with senior party leader Randeep Surjewala, who suffered a humiliating defeat in the recent Jind bypoll, accusing “some party leaders” of betraying him.

He has not named any particular leader, but has likened the latest “betrayal” with a similar situation during the Narwana bypoll in 1993 when he was defeated allegedly due to “backstabbing by a former chief minister”.

Surjewala’s statement has drawn reactions from several senior Congress leaders, who have either asked him to name those who betrayed him or have demanded action against such leaders. Former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said action must be taken against those who worked against Surjewala in the Jind bypoll.

When Hooda was asked who could be the leaders Surjewala was referring to, the former Chief Minister on Monday said he was not aware as he, his son Deepender Hooda, state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar, Rajya Sabha MP Kumari Selja, Congress Legislature Party chief Kiran Choudhry, Adampur MLA Kuldeep Bishnoi and several others had campaigned in Jind.

Kiran Choudhry said Randeep was the one who contested the poll and only he would know who betrayed him. “He should come out with the names of leaders he is referring to,” Choudhry said.

Kumari Selja also said that Surjewala should name the Congress leaders who worked against him in the elections. Interacting with mediapersons at Ambala on Sunday, Selja said Randeep must bring the names of leaders to the notice of AICC president Rahul Gandhi.

Without naming anyone, Surjewala had said during a meeting of his party’s workers at Kaithal that those who betrayed him should introspect and should not forget that those who did so in the past, left this world but could not return to power.

Surjewala gave the reference of a former Chief Minister (not alive now), who, he alleged, had tried to defeat him in the Narwana byelection in 1993.

Surjewala had lost that election, but the former CM could never return to power again.

Asked whether he would submit a report to the Congress high command regarding the role of those who “backstabbed” him, Surjewala replied that the party would analyse the results and identify those who played a role in his defeat.

Surjewala had finished third after the BJP candidate Krishan Middha and JJP’s Digvijay Chautala in the January 28 Jind bypoll and had barely managed to save his security deposit.

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