Chandigarh, Oct 2: With ruling Congress eyeing third term in a row in Haryana, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda dismissed that there was any “Modi” wave in the state, saying the issues in the state assembly elections are different than those in the Lok Sabha polls. With Modi set to launch an aggressive campaign in Haryana, which goes to polls on October 15, 67-year-old Hooda said that during the Lok Sabha polls an atmosphere was build up in favour of one individual (Modi), but in the upcoming elections the situation is entirely different.
The two-time Chief Minister dismissed that there was any “Modi wave” in the State and chided the BJP, which has not even declared its Chief Ministerial candidate, for saying the party will form the next government on their own. Despite Congress winning only one out of 10 seats in the Lok Sabha polls while BJP won seven out of eight it contested and INLD winning from two seats, Hooda asserted that issues in the assembly polls are different.
“There is no such wave. Modi is not fighting for the post of Chief Minister of Haryana. Moreover earlier, an atmosphere was hyped up during the Lok Sabha polls, but later on people realised they had been befooled. In the assembly elections, issues are different,” Hooda told PTI. He said that so far he has addressed over 70 public meetings ahead of the polls and he can feel the pulse and the mood of the public. “People are satisfied with the performance of the government, that is why I can say with confidence that Congress is going to form the government for the third time.
“There is no anti-incumbency rather there is pro-incumbency. People vote on development, they are wise and understand quite well who can further accelerate this pace of development,” he said.
Asked about the challenges he feels Congress is going to face in these elections, Hooda said, “for every party every election is a challenge. But we are confident that people will once again repose their faith in our party”. Hooda also took a dig at BJP chief Amit Shah for using the “mujra” remark for him, saying “use of this kind of language by a man holding such a post does not behove him”.
He also hit out at the main opposition INLD for “misleading” people about the allotment of lands in the state. Hooda said that not even a single inch of land has been given to any developer by the Government and challenged the opposition that if proved, he would retire from politics.
“Leave alone an acre, let them point out a single inch of land..I will quit,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that people had “rejected” the INLD during the last two assembly polls and claimed the party will be decimated after the October 15 elections. “Earlier, a reign of terror prevailed and ransoms were sought from jails. People know about all this,” Hooda said taking a veiled dig at the INLD.
With INLD leaders going around saying that the Congress party and Hooda were responsible for sending their top leadership to jail, Hooda asserted, “I don?t believe in politics of revenge. They were sent behind the bars (Om Prakash Chautala and his MLA son Ajay in the JBT scam) for their ill practises. For us, people’s welfare and all-round development of the state are paramount”.
He dismissed Opposition’s charge that his government had shown regional bias. Asked about those who left the Congress in recent times to join other outfits including the BJP and INLD, Hooda said that Congress was strong and those who had left had done so for their own vested interests. He also reminded that Congress came back to power in the 2009 assembly polls even when a former Chief Minister (Bhajan Lal) had left the party.
While Bhajan Lal died three years back, Hooda said those who had left the Congress in the recent past were desperately trying to “find their lost political ground”. With leaders like Birender Singh, who had challenged his leadership before the Jat leader from Jind belt finally switched over to the BJP, Hooda said only people make one a leader and one does not become a leader just by thinking so.
“I have been a four-time MP, have defeated leaders like Devi Lal. It is people who make you a leader. If I keep harping that I am the biggest leader, but the people feel otherwise, then how can one be a leader. “Chief Minister or not Chief Minister, I will be a leader only till the time people feel that I am worth it,” he said.