Congress may not project CM face for Haryana polls, indicates party in-charge for state

He asserted that finally, the decision will be taken in accordance with the elected legislators' wish.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 14:19 IST

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Chandigarh: Congress leader Deepak Babaria indicated on Sunday that the party may not project a chief ministerial face for the Haryana Assembly polls slated to be held later this year.

The Congress general secretary in-charge of Haryana exuded confidence that his party will win the polls with a big mandate and form its government in the state.

Replying to a question, Babaria hinted that the Congress may not project anyone as its chief ministerial face ahead of the election.

He said this after he was told that during a meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) extended state executive at Panchkula on Saturday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the saffron party will contest the Haryana polls alone, under the leadership of Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini.

Asked if the Congress will declare its chief ministerial face before the polls like the BJP, Babaria pointed to the party's tradition of not doing any such thing.

"The Congress party's 70-year-old tradition is that whoever is elected by the legislature party ... and 99.99 precedence is that it authorises the Congress president...," he said.

He asserted that finally, the decision will be taken in accordance with the elected legislators' wish.

At the same time, Babaria also said, "It (chief ministerial face) is a major political decision. A confidentiality issue is also there, we do not want to go into its public debate." To another related question, he said there were five contenders for the chief minister's post in a state election last year but no one was projected as the chief ministerial face and the Congress still came to power in the state with an overwhelming majority.

"In Haryana too, we will come to power with a landslide victory," the Congress leader asserted.

Asked about the ruling BJP often targeting the Haryana Congress over infighting, Babaria said, "The BJP has no narrative. It says we have differences and wants to overplay it through the media." He asked whether BJP leader Anil Vij's outbursts in the past do not reflect infighting in the ruling party.

Babaria was also asked about senior Congress leader Kumari Selja pointing fingers at him for not giving proper feedback to the party high command on most of the tickets allotted to candidates in the recently-held Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress won five of the nine Lok Sabha seats it contested in Haryana, while another INDIA bloc constituent, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), lost the Kurukshetra seat it fought.

Babaria said in a democracy, everybody is subject to questioning.

"Whatever decision I make, everyone can do its assessment and give their opinion. Selja is a big leader of our party. She has all the right to express herself and if she has found any shortcoming in me, she can raise it before the high command," he said.

Babaria said the Congress manifesto for the Haryana polls will be common man-centric and the party has undertaken an exercise to collect feedback and suggestions from a cross-section of the society to prepare the document.

He said the party is reaching out to different sections of the society and taking their feedback and suggestions for the manifesto.

"The manifesto will be common man-centric," Babaria said in the presence of MLA Geeta Bhukkal, who is the chairperson of the Haryana Congress's manifesto committee.

Babaria said Haryana, which used to be ahead in the country on various developmental parameters during the Congress regime, has fallen behind in the last 10 years under the BJP rule and is now ahead only in "crime, corruption, unemployment and drug menace".

"We once again want to build a Haryana that was once known for prosperity and overall development," he said.

"We are inviting different sections of the society, including farmers, youngsters, the poor, weaker sections, traders, government employees, women and others, and holding talks with them," the Congress leader said.

Hitting out at the BJP, he said, "The award for the most-failed government in the country will go to the BJP government in Haryana." Bhukkal said the party has formed 17-18 sub-committees under the main manifesto committee.

"We are trying to come up with a very good manifesto for every section of the society," she said.

Published 30 June 2024, 14:19 IST

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