In a fresh trouble for the Congress, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has virtually threatened to part ways with the Congress ahead of the assembly polls and slammed his party’s stand on revoking provisions of Article 370 in J-K, saying the Congress has “lost its way” and is no longer the party it was before.
Hooda is not first leader in the Congress who had backed the BJP on Article 370 . In- fact several Congress leaders have given different opinions on Article 370 putting the Grand old party in a quandary.
Addressing a ‘Maha Privartan Rally’ at his home turf, the two-time chief minister announced that a 25-member committee would decide the future course of action for his faction, which has been demanding that Hooda be made the state unit chief in place of Ashok Tanwar.
Hooda also promised several sops if he becomes the chief minister, seen as an open challenge to the party which is yet to name its candidate for the top post.
At the outset, a combative Hooda said he had come “freeing himself and disengaging from all bondages” to speak his heart out and was launching a fight to finish to defeat “communal and divisive forces which had done damage to the state”.
“I will form a committee that would include 13 sitting MLAs who support me and 12 other important state leaders. Whatever this committee decides, I will do that,” he said in the presence of his loyalist legislators, besides several former MLAs and other leaders.
He said he does not agree with his party leaders who have opposed abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The Congress has lost its way. It is no longer the Congress of before… ,” Hooda said.
“I belong to a family of freedom fighters. We have never compromised and will never compromise on national interests and we supported the (Khattar) government when resolution hailing the Centre on Article 370 was passed in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha,” the senior Congress leader said.
“However, we do not support the BJP when it indulges in politics over the issue. What is the state BJP’s contribution on this issue when we have also supported the resolution. The BJP is wanting to raise this issue but we must not forget that the performance of the BJP over the last five years is going to be the main issue in the assembly elections,” he said while attacking the BJP government.