Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Saturday expressed her happiness at the party's performance in the Haryana elections, where it doubled its tally in the state assembly.
“She said it was a good performance. She is happy with the results,” Bhupinder Singh Hooda, senior Congress leader, told reporters after meeting Gandhi at her residence here.
It was because of Gandhi's intervention about 50 days before the elections that Hooda was handed over the reins of the Congress in Haryana, replacing Rahul Gandhi appointee Ashok Tanwar.
Hooda, a veteran of many battles, brought the Congress within sniffing distance of power as the party won 31 seats in the assembly, more than doubling its tally of 15 in the 2014 state elections. The odds were stacked against the Congress given the factionalism within the state unit that had prompted Hooda to virtually threaten to walk out of the party ahead of the elections.
After the results were out, Hooda made an open appeal to all non-BJP parties to join hands to keep the BJP away from power and even-handed out an olive branch to Dushyant Chautala's Jananayak Janata Party.
However, Chautala was already negotiating with the BJP which was short of numbers and had enlisted support of his 10 MLAs in forming the government.