Agniveer crucial for Haryana, worried over drop in aspirants: Bhupinder Singh Hooda : The Tribune India

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Agniveer crucial for Haryana, worried over drop in aspirants: Bhupinder Singh Hooda

Agniveer crucial for Haryana, worried over drop in aspirants: Bhupinder Singh Hooda



The Congress chose its candidates after long deliberations. Many stalwarts, including Brijendra Singh, Capt Ajay Singh Yadav (retd) and Shruti Choudhry didn’t get the ticket. Seven of the nine party nominations went to close confidants of former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Asserting that the Congress is fighting elections unitedly, Hooda, in an interview with Bhartesh Singh Thakur, explains how anti-incumbency of the state BJP government is boosting the chances of their win. Excerpts:

In 2014, Haryana was No. 1 in the country in per capita income, per capita investment, law and order and sports. But, now it is No. 1 in unemployment and inflation. The law and order situation is out of control. No one feels safe in the state. The Nayab Singh Saini government is in minority after the withdrawal of support by three MLAs and it should resign on moral grounds.

You have been touring across Haryana for campaigning. What has been the feedback?

We are getting good response from all sections of society, whether they are workers, traders, farmers or government employees. From my experience, I can tell you there is a wave of Congress. You may ask how many seats Congress will win. When there is a wave, we can sweep the elections.

What are the issues that the Congress has been raising?

The main issue is the non-performance of the present BJP government in Haryana. In 2014, whether it was per capita income, per capita investment, law and order, or sports, Haryana was No. 1 in the country. Now, it is No. 1 in unemployment and inflation. The law and order situation is out of control. No one feels safe in the state.

Can we conclude that you are localising the Lok Sabha elections? Even former CM Manohar Lal Khattar is seeking votes in Modi’s name. Is Modi a factor?

I don’t talk about individuals. I talk about issues only. Individuals are there, and you might say whether A is a factor or B is a factor. That is not the question. People are fed up with the present government.

So are you relying on the anti-incumbency factor?

Yes. Both at the state and the Central level. The Central government has not fulfilled its promises. They promised that farmers’ income would be doubled by 2022. Nothing has happened. Instead, the cost of agricultural inputs has risen many times. The cost of farmers’ investments has risen many times. Farmers are not even getting MSP.

Is the Agniveer scheme an important issue?

It is a very important issue in Haryana. In Haryana, more than 5,000 youth join the Army every year. Now, with this policy, only 400 are going. In our manifesto, we have stated that this will not do, and we will go for regular recruitment.

This time Congress is contesting nine out of 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana. One seat has been allocated to the AAP. Out of nine Congress candidates, seven belong to your camp.

They are not from my camp. They belong to the Congress. It was the party’s decision to give them tickets and not mine.

Will you campaign in Faridabad and Sirsa?

I am going to Faridabad on May 18. If the Sirsa candidate (Kumari Selja) wants, I will campaign for her.

The Congress and AAP are contesting against each other in Punjab. However, in Kurukshetra, which shares its borders with Punjab, has been allocated to the AAP. Doesn’t this create confusion among voters?

It is a national alliance with AAP as part of the INDIA bloc. It was decided at the national level.

Recently, three Independent MLAs have decided to withdraw support from the Nayab Singh Saini government. What are you expecting from the Governor?

The BJP government is in minority after the withdrawal of support by three MLAs. In fact, a fourth MLA is also there, but he is keeping quiet. The government has lost its moral authority. They should resign on moral grounds. The state legislative Assembly should be dissolved, and a fresh mandate from the people should be taken.

If the Governor doesn’t take any decision, will you move a no-confidence motion?

Let the Assembly session be called. Floor test will happen.

Recently, Naina Chautala was attacked. How do you see this form of protest?

I don’t appreciate such things. No candidate should be stopped from entering villages. However, people should stop them from entering the Lok Sabha and state legislative Assembly by exercising their vote.

#Agniveers #Bhupinder Hooda #Congress #Indian Army


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