Amid reports of a split in Haryana Congress, the focus is shifted to former chief minister and party veteran Bhupinder Singh Hooda's 'Parivartan Maha Rally' scheduled to be held at his home turf Rothak today, i.e. Sunday, August 18, 2019. The rally has become the centre of attraction on the political corridor of Haryana as no senior party leader, including AICC general secretary in-charge for the state Ghulam Nabi Azad, is invited to the event.
While Hooda has refuted speculations of him leaving the Congress, a senior leader from Haryana said that something is not going well in the party ever since Sonia Gandhi took over as interim chief. Sonia was appointed the interim Congress president on August 10, nearly a month after his son Rahul Gandhi put on his papers taking sole responsibility of the party's disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha elections 2019.
"No senior leaders looking after state affairs in central party office have been invited for the rally but there is a tone down in Hooda's stand. Earlier, rally posters only had pictures of Hooda's but now Sonia and Rahul have been included," the senior Congress leader told reporters.
In a related note, Hooda last week hailed Sonia Gandhi's appoinment as interim Congress president, saying that the party will be further strengthened under her able leadership.
However, experts are of the opinion that Hooda will not risk parting ways with the Congress and forming a regional party as Assembly polls are due in Haryana later this year. Previously, he was looking for an alliance to consolidate the Jat vote in the state with BSP-JJP joining hands to fight the upcoming Haryana Assembly elections in October.
Meanwhile, some reports suggest that the Parivartan rally can also be an effort to arm-twist the party to remove Haryana Congress Chief Ashok Tanwar, who is close to former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.