Going against the conventional wisdom that dominated and sustained the Congress for long in politics, the party has put all its eggs in one basket in Haryana. The faction led by former Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar has been completely sidelined not only in deciding affairs related to the upcoming assembly election but also in ticket distribution.
With this allegation, Ashok Tanwar led his supporters to stage a protest outside Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s home in New Delhi. But taking Haryana Congress’s internal political battle to New Delhi did not help his cause. His complaint that his list of “15 Congress workers” was ignored by the election management team led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Kumari Selja did not have any impact on the second list released by the Congress party.
The two lists — of 84 and six candidates — apparently do not feature Congress leaders considered close to Ashok Tanwar, who was the Haryana Congress president till a month ago when Kumari Selja replaced him. The second list of candidates was released by the Congress after Tanwar’s protest.
As party workers, loyal to the former PCC chief, shouted slogans against Mr. Hooda, party’s election management chief, and Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in charge for the State, Tanwar alleged that tickets were being distributed on whims and fancies and were being “sold”, ignoring those who had worked for years.
Ashok Tanwar is sulking almost in the same way Bhupinder Singh Hooda was brooding during 2019 Lok Sabha election. Ashok Tanwar was at the helm of affairs for the Congress back then.
The dissension of Bhupinder Singh Hooda was thought to have worked against the Congress in the Lok Sabha election when Rahul Gandhi, then the party president, led an aggressive campaign against the BJP.
Now the Congress, under Sonia Gandhi, has tried to over-compensate Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who was on the sidelines when Rahul Gandhi was leading the party. Ashok Tanwar had been appointed as Haryana Congress chief by Rahul Gandhi, who appeared to be favouring the 43-year-old leader over the 73-year veteran Hooda.
There are also reports that the veteran Congress leaders have been involved in the sale of seats in Haryana that is bound to hurt the stature of Congress on a national level.