People looking at Cong with great hope, party set for clean sweep in Haryana: Hooda

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Congress veteran Bhupinder Singh Hooda

Congress veteran Bhupinder Singh Hooda (File image)

Chandigarh: Congress veteran Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Thursday said people are looking at his party with great hope and it is set for a clean sweep in Haryana in the Lok Sabha elections.

The former chief minister said the Congress is receiving overwhelming public support.

Voting for the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana will be held in the sixth round of the seven-phase elections on May 25.

While the Congress is contesting nine seats, its INDIA bloc ally AAP has fielded its candidate from the Kurukshetra constituency.

"People are looking at the Congress with great hope and there is a wave in our favour," Hooda said, exuding confidence that his party and its ally AAP will win all the 10 seats in Haryana.

He also exuded confidence that the INDIA bloc will form the next government at the Centre.

Targeting the BJP dispensation in Haryana, the leader of opposition in the Haryana Assembly said it is a "non-performing government" and "every section is fed up with it".

On the BJP replacing Manohar Lal Khattar with Nayab Singh Saini as the chief minister in March, Hooda said changing faces will not help the ruling party "as people have decided to change this government".

The Congress leader reiterated his party's demand for the dismissal of the "minority" government and fresh elections in the state.

If the government claims it has the numbers, then it should prove its majority, he said.

"It is clear that the government is in minority. It has no moral right to stay in power... it should seek a fresh mandate," he said.

On May 7, three Independent MLAs withdrew support to the BJP government and announced they would back the Congress. The government which has the support of two other Independents is now two short of the majority mark in the 90-member state assembly.

However, the House at present has an effective strength of 88 with Karnal and Rania assembly seats being vacant. The BJP has 40 MLAs, the Congress 30 and the JJP 10 in the House. The INLD and the Haryana Lokhit Party have one member each, while the total number of Independent MLAs is six.

Hooda further targeted the BJP government over farmers' issues and unemployment.

"Farmers were given lathis and bullets instead of MSP, the youth were given unemployment instead of education and jobs, and the wrestlers were dragged on the streets instead of giving them respect," he said.

The BJP government "harassed" every section of the state, including workers, employees, traders and sarpanches.

"But people will seek an account of their actions in the elections," he added.

Hooda said when the Congress was in power, Haryana was doing well on several fronts, including per capita income, investments, providing employment opportunities to people and the law and order situation was also much better.

"Where have they taken the state now? The state is now number one in unemployment, law and order has deteriorated and everyone feels unsafe. This government has failed on all fronts," he said.

He claimed the ruling BJP does not have a single achievement to its credit.

Hooda said the Congress has been strengthened in recent weeks with several leaders, including former MLAs, from other parties joining it.