Haryana’s politicians and their love for Delhi (Haryana Newsletter)

Chandigarh, Jan 2 (IANS) Politicians from Haryana love to be in New Delhi at the drop of a hat. Given the proximity of the national capital to Haryana – the state that surrounds Delhi from three sides – the Haryana politicos seem to have made it their birthright to be seen in the power circles there.

In the last nearly nine years, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has led the list of top politicians who may have ended up spending more time in Delhi than they did in the dusty hinterland of Haryana or its capital Chandigarh.
Hooda, who has an official residence in New Delhi, is seen as one of the most powerful chief ministers among the Congress-ruled states in the country. For any big Congress rally in Delhi, Hooda is the Congress’ points-man to ensure crowds.
Though Hooda has two sprawling official bungalows in Chandigarh’s upscale Sector 3, he invariably ends up spending more time in New Delhi. To give an official touch to his stay in Delhi, Hooda attends several functions, events and meetings in Delhi. He has been doing so in the nine odd years he has been in power in Haryana.
Hooda, who hails from Rohtak district, also spends some time in Rohtak town, just 70 km from Delhi.
Hooda’s son. Deepinder Hooda, who is the member of parliament from Rohtak, too spends most time in Delhi. He is associated with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for the party’s media-related work.
With the chief minister spending a lot of time in Delhi, ministers in his government and Congress legislators too end up spending time there.
Most of the delegations and people who want to meet Hooda also end up in Delhi to get their work done.
Even leaders from opposition parties, be it the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), end up spending a lot of time in Delhi.
With top INLD leaders, former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his elder son Ajay Chautala, being lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail after their conviction by a Delhi court in a teachers’ recruitment scam in January last year, INLD leaders too have become Delhi-bound.
“The top leaders have all their political and business interests in New Delhi. Many of them are just striking multi-million deals or indulging in real estate deals in the Gurgaon belt adjoining Delhi. That is why they are seen there more rather than in Haryana or Chandigarh,” a senior Haryana cadre bureaucrat said.
Needless to say, most of these powerful Haryana politicians flaunt their security and motorcades in Delhi.
With Delhi now being in the control of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Haryana’s politicians could learn a lesson or two from AAP leaders on how to be close to ground realities. With the AAP leadership now making it clear that it will focus on Haryana for this year’s assembly elections, Haryana’s leaders, especially from the ruling Congress, may end up being seen more in the state than in Delhi.
After all, no one wishes to end up like Shiela Dikshit who was ousted from power after three terms as Delhi chief minister.
(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at [email protected])