Haryana: As Hooda, Selja back each other, Cong hopes camaraderie will rub off on rebels

SUKHBIR SIWACH
Kumari Selja, Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Ambala on Monday

Facing tough poll battles, two top Congress leaders in Haryana - former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Rajya Sabha MP Kumari Selja - joined hands on Monday.

Bhupinder and his son Deepender Singh Hooda are contesting from Sonipat and Rohtak respectively while Selja is Congress candidate from Ambala. On Monday, Hooda not only went to address a public meeting in Ambala in support of Selja, but also joined her during a 2 km-long road show when she went to file her nominations papers.

In return, Selja accompanied Hooda on a helicopter to go to Rohtak where Deepender filed his nomination papers. At a time when there are murmurs of party infighting, party members are hoping that this camaraderie will not only brighten the prospects of both leaders but help other Congress candidates as well.

Not only this, former chief minister Bhajan Lal's son and former deputy chief minister Chander Mohan have also been participating in Selja's public meetings actively. The Congress has fielded Chander Mohan's nephew and Kuldeep Bishnoi's son Bhavya Bishnoi from Hisar seat. During Monday's public meeting in Ambala, Chander Mohan stood behind Hooda and Selja expressing solidarity with Congress leaders. Chander Mohan also accompanied Hooda and Selja during the road show.

While addressing a public meeting in support of Selja, Hooda announced, "I would come to Ambala for her poll campaign whenever behen (sister) Selja asks me to. I had to go to Rohtak where Deepender would file nominations today. But I asked my supporters that first I would go to Ambala where my sister will file nomination papers."

Selja then said, "Hooda sahab has boosted our morale.'

Selja asked the gathering to ensure the win of Congress candidates, naming one candidate after another for ten seats from Haryana. She also appealed to the crowd to ensure Hooda's win from Sonipat, which prompted supporters to cheer and raise slogans.

Selja disclosed that before announcing candidates, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had gotten a survey conducted to get feedback from voters in the constituencies concerned. "The survey had suggested my win from Ambala and Hooda sahab's win from Sonipat," she claimed.

In her speech, she also mentioned the "contribution of Ambala" information of the Congress in 1885 and first freedom struggle in 1857.

Former Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee Spokesperson Ved Prakash Vidrohi said, "The unity is in the interest of all Congress senior leaders because almost all of them are contesting elections this time."