Congress issues notices to 20 Haryana leaders

Chandigarh, Nov 27 ( Forced to seek help from Independents and other legislators to form a government in the state, the Haryana Congress Friday issued show cause notices to 20 of its leaders following complaints that they sabotaged the chances of party candidates, a Congress leader said.

Haryana Congress spokesman Ved Prakash Vidrohi said: “The party is investigating the role of the leaders who sabotaged the chances of the Congress party candidates. Many party candidates have given written complaints against the leaders of the party that they worked against the candidate in the assembly elections. The party is analyzing all such allegations.”

“The party has sent notices to 20 such leaders and asked for their explanation. After knowing their version, the party will decide next step,” he added.

Vidrohi did not name the leaders who have been issued notices.

The Congress returned with only 40 legislators in the 90-member assembly in the Oct 13 assembly elections.

It was short of a simple majority by six legislators and way short of its performance in the Feb 2005 assembly polls when it had won 67 seats.

Several Congress candidates who lost alleged that certain leaders were instrumental in their defeat at the assembly polls.

Former legislators Ranbir Singh Mahendra and Somvir Singh, son and son-in-law respectivley of former chief minister Bansi Lal, openly alleged that former forests minister Kiran Chaudhary, also a daughter-in-law of Bansi Lal, had contributed to their defeat in Bhiwani district.

Vidrohi said: “The Congress committee will take disciplinary action against indisciplined leaders of the party. Such cases, in which the power of action resides with central leadership, have been referred to central disciplinary committee of the Congress party.”

“The results of the assembly elections have shown that the party did not get clear majority only because of the infighting amongst the party leaders. If the voters have grievances against the party, the voting percentage of the opposition party would have increased but that was not the case,” he added.

Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and state Congress president Phool Chand Mullana have also admitted that infighting cost several seats to the party.

The Congress had to seek the support of seven Independent legislators, five defector legislators from Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) and one of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP) to retain power in Haryana.

The main opposition Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) returned with 31 seats in last month’s elections.