Former Union minister Selja blamed chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for the Congress rout in Haryana, accusing him of running a ‘one-man show’ by marginalizing other party leaders. She said the least Hooda could do was to offer his resignation for the debacle.
Congress was decimated in the parliamentary elections, with only the CM’s son, Deepender, managing to win out of the ten seats while BJP, a marginal force, cornered seven. “You could win only one seat in the state. It is good you won at least one seat but you cannot rejoice the fact that we were not blanked out,” Selja lashed out sarcastically at the CM, in an interview to TOI.
Selja said the writing was on the wall after the state affairs became synonymous with Hooda with no space for other Congress leaders.
“In last so many years, Haryana government became a one-man show. The organization played the second fiddle. The workers did not get the due respect and the administration was unresponsive,” she said. The former minister said the Hooda government could not escape the responsibility for defeat. “See Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Odisha, wherever the state leaders were strong, their parties withstood the so-called (Modi) wave,” she argued.
“The CM should have offered to resign because he owns the moral responsibility. Is the CM trying to show that all the fault lies with the central leadership and that his only responsibility was to see his son win,” she sniped.
With Rao Inderjeet Singh winning from Gurgaon after crossing over to BJP and many Congressmen still protesting, Selja accused Hooda of forcing out leaders by deliberately sharpening the divisions instead of reaching out to those opposed to his unilateral style. “They (ruling faction) only alienated us further because all the power was concentrated in one hand,” she said. “Alienation has pervaded the organization where senior leaders don’t feel a sense of belonging in our own state. There is no dialogue or consultation,” she complained, asking, “What’s the sense of responsibility of the man ruling the state.” Crying vendetta, Selja, a dalit leader, said the ruling faction has been deploying “other dalits” to make reckless allegations against her. “If this is not petty politics, then what is?” she asked.
Few are giving any chance to Congress in assembly polls to be held in October given that every community, including the Jats that Hooda was accused of favouring, seems to have left the party fold.
Selja regretted, “Congress was never identified with one community. Congress was conscious of all communities and all identified with it. Unfortunately, during this government, there was a sense of alienation amongst certain communities.”