Last Updated: September 05, 2023, 02:12 IST
Ahead of the Lok Sabha and state assembly elections next year, the Haryana Congress seems to be grappling with dissension in its ranks as cadres belonging to different lobbies within the party are attacking each other. The intense factionalism within the Haryana unit came to the fore during the All India Congress Committee (AICC) observers’ consultations with district-level leaders of the party on Monday, as workers belonging to the anti-Bhupinder Singh Hooda camp raised slogans at Kurukshetra, Jind, Panipat, Hisar, Charkhi Dadri, and Gurugram.
To select district-level office-bearers, the AICC observers will be holding talks in districts until September 10 and will submit a report on the feedback to state party incharge Deepak Babaria and state president Udai Bhan on September 11.
At Kurukshetra, the meeting called at the Circuit House turned ugly when a group of Congress workers, claiming to be supporters of the rival camp, started raising slogans to express their resentment. They claimed that they were not informed about the meeting and were being ignored. AICC observer Rajkumar Indoria came out of the meeting and expressed unhappiness over the slogans being raised. In Panipat, too, workers alleged biased consultations.
AICC observer Kanti Bhai Barwar and state party representatives Dr Raghubir Kadiyan and Shelly Chaudhary arrived at the Congress Bhawan in Hisar on Monday for consultations, but a number of uninvited workers arrived there.
A group of workers owing allegiance to a leader of the rival faction started raising slogans against former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his son Rajya Sabha member Deepender Singh Hooda, alleging that the father-son duo were dominating the affairs of the state unit. Jagan Nath, Ajay Chaudhary and state youth vice-president Krishan Satrod were leading them.
Barwar tried to downplay the incident. “Nothing to be blown out of proportion. We held talks with all and their feedback was taken,” he said.
The factionalism also disrupted proceedings in Jind as workers, who were supporters of the rival camp, raised slogans of “go back observer”. Here, too, protesters targeted Hooda and alleged that they were not intimated about Monday’s meeting.
The protests took place despite Udai Bhan cautioning the leaders to avoid any show of strength during the talks with central observers. The party has been running without any district-level organisation for the past nine years.
The Congress has been confronting major dissension issues with the unit divided between the Hooda camp, which has most MLAs on its side, and the rival camp comprising senior leaders Kumari Selja, Randeep Singh Surjewala, and MLA Kiran Choudhry.