Making a pitch for the Congress, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today appealed to the voters not to waste their precious votes on the BJP and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). Addressing an election rally in Samalkha of Panipat district today, Hooda said while one party (BJP) cannot name its Chief Ministerial candidate, the other party’s (INLD) leader says he will take oath in the jail as the Chief Minister. ``Tell me, is there any legal system in the country or not? A person who cannot even contest assembly election, is thinking of becoming the Chief Minister.Hooda appealed to the people to vote in favour of the Congress candidate from Samalkha, Dharam Singh Chhokkar. I will be right behind you to take care of the development of the region,’’said the Chief Minister. He said the pro-rich BJP government at the centre has no regards for the farmers of the country. Prices of cotton crashed this year in Haryana and the farmers are suffering as a result, but the Centre neither took note of it nor took any action.
He pulled up the BJP government at the centre for failing to control the price rise. ``Tell me, what is the price of tomato, onion and potato? The government raised the prices of sugar and hiked rail fare the moment it came to power. ``Ye kahte hain Ram Lala ka mandir yehi banayenge, magar tithi nahi batayenge.’’Pooh-poohing the existence of Modi wave in the country, Hooda said if this was the case, they should explain why they lost 21 of the 42 seats they held earlier, in the recent bypoll in the country. The fall from grace of the BJP took place in just three months and in the next four months they would become zero, he said.The Chief Minister said the Congress government in the state had done all round development of the state in the last nine years. As many as 3.83 lakh people had been give 100 square yards plot of land free. Twenty lakh Dalit students of the state were being given scholarships. Gujarat gives scholarship of Rs 225 per student per year, while Haryana gives the same amount per month.
Hooda said the Congress government in Haryana had proved to be pro-farmers. When the INLD, BJP coalition ruled Haryana from 1999 to 2005, the rate of interest for the farm loans taken from the co-operative banks used to be as high as 11 per cent. ``We reduced it first to 7 per cent, then 4 per cent and henceforth the government decided not to charge any interest at all from the farmers. Lakhs of farmers have benefitted as a result in Haryana, he said.Similarly giving due respect to the aged people, the Haryana government raised the pension amount from Rs 200 when it came to power to Rs 500, 700 and now Rs 1000. From November i, it would be hiked to Rs 1500 and if the Congress government comes to power for the third time, it would be further raised, said Hooda.
He said diesel price in Haryana was much less than those of the neighbouring states. For example the diesel was priced Rs 5 more in Rajasthan and Rs 8 more in Madhya Pradesh. The BJP, he claimed, was misleading the people. Hooda assured the people that he will be their MLA if they vote for the Congress in the upcoming Haryana assembly election.Hooda also addressed public rallies today in Rai in Sonepat, Karnal, Kalsora village in Indri, Radaur, Kurukshetra, and in Thanesar. Hooda said it was strange for the INLD to celebrate birth anniversary of Devi Lal sometime on September 25 and at other times on November 1. Can the same person be born twice, he asked the people present at the rally. He said the INLD should learn to respect the elders, he said. ``I too respect Devi Lal although I defeated him thrice in elections. The INLD should not show any disrespect to him,’’ he said.
Hooda told the voters present at the rally to ask the BJP who their Chief Ministerial candidate was in the present assembly elections in Haryana. He said one party in Haryana cannot name its leader, while the other party’s chief says he will take oath of Chief Minister in jail. If this was the case he should form a cabinet in jail itself and include the prisoners in his team, he said.Later addressing a public meeting at Jind anaz mandi in favour of the party’s candidate Pramod Sehwag, Hooda appealed to the people to vote in large number. He said Sehwag was like his son Deepender Hooda and was quite capable of handling problems of the region. He said the BJP was like `Chinese maal’ with no durability and quality. BJP had failed to fulfil all its promises, said Hooda. He asked who were the chief ministerial candidates for the BJP and the INLD.