Winnability key factor in candidates' selection for Haryana Assembly polls: Bhupinder Hooda

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Chandigarh, Jun 11 (PTI) Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Tuesday said winnability will be a key factor in the upcoming Haryana election and claimed that his party is on a good footing and getting overwhelming public support.

Our criteria will remain the same, winnability is a key factor, the former chief minister said about selecting candidates for the assembly polls due in October.

"People have made up their minds to bring Congress to power," said Hooda, who is the Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly, as he lambasted the BJP government in the state over their alleged misrule.

"Their past ten years of rule will be remembered as a dark decade," Hooda told reporters here.

State Congress chief Udai Bhan, and Congress MPs Deepender Hooda and Jai Prakash were also present.

Bhupender Hooda said the Congress will not be allying with the AAP for the Vidhan Sabha election.

"As far as our alliance with AAP goes, that was for the national level (for LS polls), not at the state (assembly) level," he said.

His son Deepender Hooda too had on Monday said that the Congress's alliance with the AAP was limited to the Lok Sabha polls.

Asked about his views on an AAP leader claiming that his party did not get enough support from the Congress for the Kurukshetra seat, Hooda said AAP state chief Sushil Gupta has clarified that it was a personal remark.

In Haryana, while the Aam Aadmi Party, which contested the Kurukshetra seat as part of the INDIA bloc, lost the seat, the Congress contested the remaining nine and won five.

Senior Hooda reiterated his earlier stance on the Nayab Singh Saini-led BJP government, which he said was in the "minority" and did not have the moral right to stay in power.

"Government is in the minority. That is why we had written to Governor earlier," he said and demanded the Assembly be dissolved "to stop horse trading." "Now we are hearing that two JJP MLAs will resign, then we hear some other things too...The Assembly should be dissolved to stop this. Fresh elections should be held immediately," he said.

Hooda also refuted Saini's allegation that the former Congress government in the state misled the poor by falsely promising them plots measuring 100 square yards.

"We gave free 100 square yard plots to nearly 4 lakh families. There were more who were to be allotted as the process to hand over the plots was on, but when BJP came to power (in 2014), it stopped the scheme," Hooda said.

"Now when Assembly elections are round-the-corner, they suddenly remember the scheme which they stopped. They should apologize before people why they stopped it for ten years," he said.

The former Haryana chief minister alleged that the BJP government in the past 10 years brought the state down on several development counts, such as inflation, law and order and unemployment. "They have pushed the state into a debt trap." On the Congress's performance in the latest LS polls, Hooda said, "The INDIA bloc secured a vote share of 47.6 per cent in the state, which is highest in the country among the states. Among other states, the opposition bloc secured a vote share of 46.9 per cent in Tamil Nadu, 45.4 per cent in Karnataka, 45.1 per cent in Kerala, 43.5 per cent in Uttar Pradesh, 41.7 per cent in Himachal, and 41.1 per cent in Chhattisgarh." "In Lok Sabha, the BJP got half, in Vidhan Sabha they will be trounced," he claimed. PTI SUN VN VN