Denied ticket, Congress leaders cry foul in Haryana, Maharashtra
With just a day left for filing of nominations for the Haryana Assembly polls, Congress faced resentment from leaders denied party tickets.
Congress has announced candidates for all 90 seats that will go to the polls on October 21.
Barring Renuka Bishnoi, who preferred not to enter the fray this time, Congress reposed faith in all of its 16 current MLAs.
Still, the infighting in the Haryana Congress reached the doorstep of party president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday with former Haryana Congress chief Ashok Tanwar and his supporters protesting outside her 10 Janpath home in Delhi.
A day later, Tanwar resigned from all election committees of the party but said he would continue to work as an ordinary party worker.
In his letter to Congress president Gandhi, Tanwar said he was stepping down from various committees formed by her for the Haryana assembly elections but would continue to work to strengthen the party as its “ordinary soldier”.
Several party workers have alleged corruption in the distribution of Haryana tickets.
Weeks before the polls, Tanwar was replaced by Kumari Selja as the party’s state unit chief and his bete noire Bhupinder Singh Hooda was made the Congress Legislature Party leader, after exerting pressure on the central leadership.
In spite of the Congress fielding his son Chiranjeev Rao from Rewari, former minister Ajay Singh Yadav is unhappy.
“I was right,” Yadav, who has been MLA six times, said on Thursday.
I was right the congress candidates list released today in the assembly segments of Gurgaon Lok Sabha majority of them are defectors, turn coats and non congress men who openly opposed me in Lok Sabha election 2019.
— Capt. Ajay Singh Yadav (@CaptAjayYadav) October 3, 2019
“The Congress candidates list released today in the assembly segments of Gurgaon Lok Sabha majority of them are defectors, turncoats and non-congressmen who openly opposed me in Lok Sabha election 2019,” Yadav tweeted.
Former minister Nirmal Singh, who contested the assembly polls from Ambala Cantonment in 2009 and 2014 as a Congress nominee, on Thursday threatened to field his daughter as an independent candidate after the party ignored his own claim to a ticket.
In Maharashtra, former Mumbai chief of Congress Sanjay Nirupam on Thursday (October 3) announced that he would not be a part of the party’s campaign in the state.
Nirupam, also a former MP, was reportedly dejected since the party had “rejected” a potential candidate he had recommended for the state election. However, he has not mentioned the name of the candidate so far.
He said that the way he was being treated by the party’s leadership, the time to say ‘good bye’ to the party was “not far away”, reported news agency PTI.
BJP uncertain about its leaders too?
In the rival BJP camp, Chief Minister ML Khattar has sent out signals to placate those denied the party ticket. He told them that the party will keep their interests in mind once the elections are over.
This, however, appeared to have little impact.
Out of its 48 sitting MLAs, the BJP has denied tickets to 12 – including ministers Rao Narbir Singh and Vipul Goel – replacing them with fresh faces. It has accommodated several turncoats, mostly from the Indian National Lok Dal, who joined it ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections.
Gurgaon MLA Umesh Aggarwal has threatened to field his wife from the constituency as an independent candidate.
Aggarwal, who has not been on good terms with Khattar, on Thursday posted a sarcastic tweet.
“Look at the blade of this axe, some have been axed while some are ready to be chopped off,” he tweeted in Hindi.
— Umesh Aggarwal (@MLAUmesh) October 3, 2019
BJP’s Guhla MLA Kulwant Ram Bazigar too has been sulking after being denied a ticket. He said he will remain with the BJP, but the party should tell him why he has not been renominated.
The denial of a ticket left at least one leader literally in tears. Samalkha MLA Ravinder Machrauli, who joined the BJP ahead of the polls, broke down before his supporters.
The BJP won 47 seats in the 2014 assembly polls. After its win in the Jind bypoll earlier this year, the party’s strength rose to 48. It has set a target of 75 plus seats this time.
Apart from the Congress, the other players in the contest include the Indian National Lok Dal which entered into an alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Jannayak Janta Party which came into existence after a split in the INLD, the Bahujan Samaj Party, the Aam Aadmi Party, Swaraj India and the Loktantra Suraksha Party.