Congress Crisis: Kumari Selja Complains Against Bhupinder Singh Hooda Over His Meeting With Ghulam Nabi Azad

Swarajya Staff

Sep 01, 2022, 06:12 PM | Updated 06:12 PM IST

Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda AFP PHOTO/SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda AFP PHOTO/SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Hooda and Selja have often been seen at loggerheads.
  • The Congress party continues to feel tremors since Ghulam Nabi Azad's departure. He announced the formation of a new party, and 5,000 workers in Jammu and Kashmir are reported to join him.

    Himachal and Haryana units of the Congress are also feeling the 'Azad effect'. Since G-23 leaders like Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Anand Sharma and Prithviraj Chavan met Azad on Tuesday, speculations are gaining ground.

    Kumari Selja, a Congress Working Committee (CWC) member and former president of the party’s Haryana unit, is learnt to have lodged a complaint against Hooda with the party high command.

    She demanded a show cause notice against Hooda, saying that his meeting with Azad, who quit the party blaming its leadership, confuses and disheartens the party rank and file.

    Hooda is a former Haryana chief minister who served for two terms and currently is the Leader of the Opposition in the state. He is a prominent Jat leader and enjoys a good hold over the state party unit.

    Hooda and Selja have often been reported to be at loggerheads. Selja is a prominent leader of the Congress in Haryana, coming from the SC community. She is also one among the several senior leaders who have apparently been sidelined in Congress's Haryana unit over differences with Hooda.

    The Congress had in April revamped its Haryana unit, appointing former legislator and Hooda loyalist Udai Bhan as its president, replacing Selja. It was seen as an attempt by the Gandhi family to give Hooda a free hand.

    With leaders like Kuldeep Bishnoi and Ashok Tanwar leaving Congress to join other parties and Selja being sidelined, observers say that Congress has virtually become a party of the Hoodas in the state.

    Hooda is said to enjoy a cordial relationship with the Gandhi family. Recent events also suggest that the Gandhis back Hooda to deliver Haryana for the Congress in 2024.

    Hence, his meeting with Azad confused political commentators.

    However, this should not come as a shocker because Hooda had called Azad's departure "unfortunate" and called him "a Congressman throughout".

    He is also among the G-23 leaders who had, in a letter to the Congress president in August 2020, sought an organisational overhaul and elections at all levels.

    Another G-23 leader who is expected to quit Congress is Anand Sharma. He had earlier resigned from the post of Chairman, Election Campaign Committee of Himachal Pradesh Congress.

    'Himachal ka sankalp' was launched by Congress on Wednesday, which announced 10 guarantees ahead of the election campaign. Sharma was absent from the event.

    While Sharma is not said to enjoy a huge support base in Himachal Pradesh, his departure may affect the party in the state organisationally during the poll campaign.

    Congress is going to elect its president in October. Manish Tewari, another G-23 leader, is questioning the fairness of this election, indicating the downward spiral that the Congress is going through.

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