New Delhi: Haryana has been seeing “rip-off after rip-off” ever for the reason that Bharatiya Janata Social gathering (BJP) got here to energy 9 years in the past, former chief minister and chief of opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda has mentioned — remarks that come earlier than parliamentary and meeting elections in Haryana subsequent 12 months.
In an interview with ThePrint, Hooda, a Jat strongman who had been the chief minister from 2005 and 2014, mentioned that when he left his place 9 years in the past, issues had been completely different.
“Haryana had been primary in per capita revenue, per capita funding, employment technology, and sports activities. We had legislation and order the place individuals felt secure. Farmers obtained remunerative costs,” the senior Congress chief mentioned. “However now, in these 9 years, individuals have been seeing rip-off after rip-off. We noticed liquor scams, mining scams, registry scams, paper leak scams, paddy procurement scams (in 2020), recruitment scams, and lots of extra. The federal government units up a recent Particular Investigation Staff (SIT) after each rip-off however the reviews are by no means made public.”
Chatting with ThePrint at Talkatora Street in New Delhi, the official residence of his son and Rajya Sabha MP Deepender Singh Hooda, the previous chief minister highlighted a variety of matters — from the floods in Yamuna, the state of politics in Haryana and the meeting election subsequent 12 months to raised remunerative costs that farmers have been demanding.
Hooda blamed final week’s floods in Delhi and close by areas to poor administration by the Haryana authorities — remarks that come at a time when the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP authorities is engaged in a bitter blame sport with the BJP authorities.
Listed here are excerpts from his interview with ThePrint.
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The Congress will win most parliamentary seats in Haryana and can type the following authorities after the 2024 meeting election, Hooda mentioned in his interview.
Haryana has a complete of 10 parliamentary and 90 meeting seats. Whereas the BJP swept all Lok Sabha seats in 2019, the get together received 40 meeting seats the identical 12 months as towards 31 of the Congress. The Jannayak Janata Social gathering (JJP), which had made its electoral debut that 12 months and is presently a part of the ruling alliance within the state, received 10 seats.
The BJP, he mentioned, swept to energy in 2014 on lofty guarantees. “However now, individuals have realised that they (BJP) discuss however they don’t carry out. I’m positive we’re going to win a majority of parliamentary seats from Haryana this time.”
Individuals of the state are “fed up” with Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and his authorities, he mentioned.
“They (BJP) made lofty guarantees, however later admitted that these had been jumlas (false guarantees). Individuals have made up their minds. This time Congress will type the federal government within the state.”
The state that was as soon as “No. 1 in employment is now No.1 in unemployment” ranges, the previous chief minister mentioned, accusing the BJP governments at each the central and state ranges of “enjoying with the way forward for the youths”.
There are 2 lakh authorities posts mendacity vacant however as a substitute of filling up these, the federal government launched Kaushal Rozgar Nigam — an organisation to recruit contractual workers — in 2021 to nominate youth on a short lived foundation, he mentioned.
Hooda additionally criticised the controversial Agnipath scheme — the Narendra Modi authorities’s short-term military recruitment scheme for kids between 17.5 and 21 years. Hundreds of individuals from Haryana line up for military jobs, he mentioned, however the coverage implies that troopers might be despatched again residence inside 4 years.
Sports activities too has felt the BJP authorities’s apathy, based on him.
Within the 2010 Commonwealth Video games, the gamers from the state received 22 medals out of the whole tally of 38, he mentioned. “However now, all of the world has seen how badly our sportspeople (learn, wrestlers) have been handled by this authorities.”
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Infighting within the Congress and get together’s CM face
The previous CM additionally addressed reviews of infighting throughout the Congress senior management within the state. Media reviews have repeatedly highlighted power-tussles amongst senior leaders similar to Hooda, former Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja, Tosham MLA and former CLP chief Kiran Choudhary and Rajya Sabha MP Randeep Surjewala.
Hooda, nonetheless, dismissed such reviews as “media manufactured”, and as a substitute pointed to the fault traces throughout the BJP.
“Have you ever ever seen (senior BJP leaders) Rao Inderjit Singh, Chaudhary Birender Singh, Ram Bilas Sharma, and Chief Minister Khattar sharing a stage,” he requested, citing an occasion from 2014 to show his level.
“In 2014 (after elections that 12 months), I requested a query within the state meeting. The CM was replying, however minister after minister saved interrupting him and attempting to supply their very own reply. When the CM requested Anil Vij to take a seat down, the latter refused to obey. The BJP lacks cohesiveness.”
Requested who can be the Congress’s CM face, Hooda mentioned the get together had a process to determine such issues.
The Congress excessive command, he mentioned, appoints an observer who places ahead a reputation after chatting with the state’s MLAs. “Individuals have seen this process being adopted in Karnataka.”
However what occurred in 2005, when he was appointed CM regardless of senior Congress chief Bhajan Lal’s claims of getting extra MLAs in his assist? That wasn’t true, Hooda mentioned.
“Once I was appointed the CM in 2005, the get together’s observers met all of the MLAs. When (former chief minister ) Bhajan Lal boycotted the CLP assembly sensing defeat, solely 18 out of 67 MLAs accompanied him. And when he ultimately left the Congress, solely 3 MLAs had been with him.”
A miffed Bhajan Lal ultimately left the Congress to start out the Haryana Janhit Congress in 2007.
To a question about final week’s floods not solely in Delhi-NCR but additionally elements of Haryana, Hooda mentioned this wasn’t the primary time that such a big quantity of water was launched from Hathni Kund, a concrete barrage situated in Haryana’s Yamunanagar district. Water launched from the flood has been cited as partly being answerable for the Delhi flood.
Twelve of Haryana’s 22 districts have seen flood after heavy rain brought about flashed floods in north India earlier this month. Of those, six — Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat, Sonipat, Faridabad, and Palwal — had been flooded due to Yamuna’s rising waters.
In his interview, Hooda mentioned that in 2006, eight lakh cusecs of water had been launched from the concrete barrage — twice the amount that had been launched this time. However there was no flood then as a result of it was managed higher, he mentioned.
He additionally blamed the scenario on authorities apathy, saying that in a tour of flood-affected districts of the state final week, he discovered that a number of panchayats had petitioned for drains to be cleaned out. “However the (state) authorities paid no heed.”
Hooda additionally spoke about implementing higher remunerative costs for farmers — a significant ballot problem within the state. Farmers have been demanding the implementation of the Swaminathan report and giving higher MSP — the minimal worth set by the federal government for sure agricultural merchandise.
Arrange in 2004 by the then Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the eight-member nationwide fee chaired by famend agriculturist Prof. M.S. Swaminathan was mandated to suggest agrarian reforms. The panel submitted 5 reviews between December 2004 and October 2006.
In his interview, Hooda, who was requested about Haryana BJP chief O.P. Dhankar’s allegations that his authorities didn’t get the suggestions carried out, mentioned it was the BJP that had been backpedalling on its promise of doubling farmers’ revenue by 2022.
He was referring to Modi’s promise of making certain that agricultural incomes are doubled by that 12 months.
In response to him, the earlier UPA authorities had been implementing the Swaminathan report in phases. “One of many suggestions was to make farmers debt-free,” he mentioned. “On my initiative, the speed of curiosity on farmers’ loans was lowered from 14 % to only 4 % throughout the nation. In Haryana, I ensured that the farmers obtained loans at zero % curiosity.”
He added that had the BJP authorities carried out the Swaminathan report in its true spirit, the farmers wouldn’t have wanted loans for agricultural actions.
One of many points, based on him, is calculating MSP utilizing the C2 formulation as a substitute of the A2+FL foundation used now. The A2+FL formulation that’s used now elements in all paid-out enter prices (A2) that farmers incur on seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, employed labour, leased land, gas and irrigation and provides to this unpaid household labour (FL).
Nevertheless, farmers argue that this formulation means a considerably decrease MSP than what they will get whether it is calculated utilizing the C2 formulation as beneficial by the Swaminathan panel. Typically seen as a extra complete system of calculation, the C2 formulation elements in hire and curiosity foregone on land and equipment over and above the A2+FL charge.
Requested why Haryana’s Congress unit didn’t know of senior get together chief Rahul Gandhi’s go to to the state earlier this month, Hooda mentioned that was simply how the chief functioned.
Rahul had reportedly travelled to a village in Haryana’s Sonipat to talk to farmers there and was even pictured planting paddy with them.
“He (Rahul) likes assembly individuals and realizing their points. He met mechanics, went to paddy fields and even met truck drivers within the USA,” Hooda mentioned, referring to the US go to in June.
(Edited by Uttara Ramaswamy)
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