Cong fissure fillip for INLD

Pushed on the backfoot with two of its top leaders —- former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and his MLA son Ajay —- in jail, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) is looking to cash in on the internal squabbling in the Congress and corner it during the ongoing budget session of the Haryana Assembly.

The differences between Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Kumari Selja, are known. Selja has been accusing Hooda of intentionally ignoring her constituency —- a charge levelled against the CM by senior Congress leader and Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit. Selja has written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the alleged neglect of her area at the hands of the present government.

On the first day of the Assembly, Hooda got a taste of the days to come when two MLAs known for their allegiance to Selja echoed her opinion regarding development of the state. They openly lodged their complaint with Hooda.

The INLD, which was on a sticky wicket in the wake of the conviction of Chautala and Ajay, has suddenly got a new tool to take on the Congress. INLD state unit chief Ashok Arora who had taken up the command of the party in absence of Chautala in the Assembly, said that the stand of various Congress leaders is confirmation of INLD's assertion that the government is working for only one district. "We had been saying this since long that the government does not see any area other than one district. Various Congress leaders have now vindicated our stand," said Arora.

However, Hooda faction has asked the Union Minister to raise such issues on party platform. State Congress president Phool Chand Mullana said, "It is always better to raise the issues within the party. The Congress high command is well aware of the happenings in the state Congress," he said. The state unit has sent the clippings of Selja statements to the high command and expect that it will take up the issue with the Union Minister.

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