Hooda’s elevation sets alarm bells ringing for INLD

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
The growing clout of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in the Congress as a leader enjoying popularity among peasants and farmers has alarmed its arch rival — the INLD.
Hooda has been made the co-convener of the Congress high-powered committee with regard to party’s September 20 rally here. AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh is the other co-convener.
The rally, which is slated to be attended mainly by farmers, will be held to mark the Congress’ victory in forcing the Narendra Modi government abandon its move to replace the 2013 land acquisition law that was enacted during the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.
Reacting to the development, national vice-president of the INLD Antram Tanwar said, “The recognition of Bhupinder Singh Hooda as a farmer leader is a matter of concern for the INLD. The Congress is using Hooda to mislead the farmers.”
Hooda had played a major role in the good turnout at Congress rallies in the Capital, including the one organised early this year.
The INLD’s apparent concern with regard to Hooda’s growing profile as a leader of farmers was based on hard political considerations. It considers him to be its nemesis because he was instrumental in weaning away majority of its support base — farmers, peasants and marginalised sections — and orienting them towards the Congress.
Hooda struck at the INLD’s pivot by defeating its patriarch and former Deputy PM late Devi Lal, who was a national icon of farmers, peasantry and the marginalised sections of society, thrice in the Lok Sabha elections in the state.
He was considered instrumental in dislodging the INLD (‘Lok Dal’ in its earlier avatars) from power in the state and helping the Congress form the government twice consecutively. During both his tenures, the INLD was not able to organise any mass agitation, as used to happen during the terms of other preceding Congress CMs.
Meanwhile, Hooda today held a meeting with representatives of farmers’ organisations and state party leaders at his residence with regard to preparations for the rally.