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Six of eight Bhupinder Singh Hooda loyalists make it to Congress list

Six of eight Bhupinder Singh Hooda loyalists make it to Congress list

Former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s stamp is writ large on the list of Congress Lok Sabha candidates from Haryana, as six out of eight are his loyalists. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Chandigarh, April 26

Former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s stamp is writ large on the list of Congress Lok Sabha candidates from Haryana, as six out of eight are his loyalists.

His son MP Deepender Hooda has got the party’s nod from Rohtak, which he had represented thrice. In 2019, he lost to BJP’s Arvind Sharma by 7,503 votes.

Varun Chaudhary from Hooda camp pipped Renu Bala of rival ‘SRK’ (Selja, Randeep Surjewala, and Kiran Choudhry) camp for the Ambala seat. ‘SRK’ had recently carried out a joint yatra. Earlier, Selja was expected to contest from Ambala, but after getting defeated in 2019 by 3.42 lakh votes, she has chosen Sirsa.

Chaudhary is currently representing the Mullana Assembly constituency in Ambala district. His father Phool Chand Mullana is a four-time MLA and has served as president of the state party unit.

The major upset for the rival camp is the denial of ticket to Shruti Choudhry, the state unit’s working president. Daughter of Kiran Choudhry, she hails from Bansi Lal’s family, but lost in 2014 and 2019.

Rao Dan Singh of Hooda camp found favour with the high command. The strategy is to get Ahir votes, and Jats, who are inimical to the BJP, would rally behind him.

The party has also denied ticket to sitting Hisar MP Brijendra Singh. He had recently joined the Congress, along with his father Birender Singh. The party high command chose three-time MP Jai Prakash from Hooda camp for the Hisar seat.

‘Godman’ Satpal Bhramchari has been fielded from Sonepat. In 2019, Hooda lost to BJP’s Ramesh Kaushik by 1.65 lakh votes. A Brahmin, Bhramchari, who runs ashrams and dharamshalas, is a known face in Sonepat and is expected to divide the Brahmin vote between him and BJP’s Mohan Lal Badoli. Coming from Hooda camp, he would garner Jat votes too.

The candidature of another loyalist Divyanshu Budhiraja from Karnal has surprised many. He will take on former CM Manohar Lal Khattar. In 2019, the Congress lost the seat by a 6.56 lakh margin. Budhiraja is a former president of the Panjab University Campus Students’ Council. Later, he became the state NSUI president, and is currently the Haryana Youth Congress president.

For Faridabad, former state minister Karan Dalal, close to Hooda, was in contention, but the high command chose Gujjar leader Mahendra Pratap. The strategy is to divide Gujjar votes as the BJP has fielded Union minister Krishan Pal Gujjar. The party is yet to announce a candidate from Gurugram. It has given Kurukshetra to the AAP.

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#Bhupinder Hooda #Congress #Deepender Hooda #Lok Sabha


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