Cong should offer "unconditional support" to AAP: Hooda

Cong should offer "unconditional support" to AAP: Hooda

While Congress seemed to be making attempts to extend an olive branch to Aam Aadmi Party to form a government in Delhi, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said his party should offer "unconditional support" to Arvind Kejriwal's party.

Hooda said if the decision had to be taken by him and if the matter was left to him, he would take the decision, "so that the people are benefited".

However, he clarified that this was his personal opinion.

"My personal opinion is that the Congress should unconditionally support them so that they (AAP) can form the government and deliver promises to the people on power, water and other issues," Hooda said.

In a stunning performance AAP decimated the ruling Congress in Delhi polls winning 28 seats of 70 while BJP bagged 31 and Congress 8. Both AAP and BJP do not have majority to form the government on their own and Kejriwal has ruled out giving any support to BJP for the purpose.

On AAP's preparations to contest Haryana assembly polls next year, Hooda said, "Every person has the right and freedom to contest. In democracy, whosoever gets majority forms the government."

To a query that Kejriwal and AAP member Yogendra Yadav were from Haryana and if this could give them advantage in the state, the Chief Minister dismissed it as "hypothetical", and said, "Let them come, then we will see."

Asked about reports that AAP had invited IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who was recently charge-sheeted by his government for cancellation of mutation of a land deal involving Robert Vadra and DLF, to lead the party in Haryana, he said, "Which party gives charge to which person is their decision."

Hooda said it was difficult to pinpoint any single factor which caused the Congress' poor showing in the four states and said the party would analyse reasons behind this.

Hooda, who had campaigned in Delhi and Rajasthan, said though Congress had left no stone unturned on development, some local issues played their part.

He admitted that "price rise was an issue" which could have had an impact and said the Centre had taken various steps to minimise adverse impact on the common man. 

Hooda said although the results in the four states were not as per expectations of the Congress, it should not be seen as the end of the road as tide can once again turn in favour of the ruling party in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

Citing the 2003-04 scenario, he said in 2003, Congress lost in Chhattisgarh, UP, Rajasthan and Bihar, but in 2004, Congress-led UPA came to power.

Asked about Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's remarks yesterday that parties should learn from AAP, he said, "Punjab has to learn many things from many people. Everybody has to learn. I have to learn many things from you (media)."

He dismissed as baseless, reports about infighting in Haryana Congress and asserted that the party is strong.

"You must have seen the Gohana rally," he said.

Congress had held a huge rally on November 10.

Asked about his bete noire and Union Minister Selja and Rajya Sabha MP Ishwar Singh reportedly staying away from the Gohana rally saying it was not a Congress rally but Hooda's show, the Chief Minister asserted that it was a party rally and state Congress chief Phool Chand Mullana and party in-charge Shakeel Ahmed and other leaders were present.

Taking a veiled dig at rebel Congress MP Rao Inderjit's apolitical Haryana Insaaf Manch and the HJC-BJP tie-up, Hooda said at some places "there is AAP, at some there is Insaaf, at some there is thugbandan (alliance of imposters)."

Hooda, who often compares Haryana and Gujarat claiming that his state was ahead of the BJP-ruled state on most fronts, did not agree that there was any "Narendra Modi wave" which had impacted the states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The Chief Minister said that Haryana assembly polls will be held as per the schedule in October next year and not along with the Lok Sabha elections.

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