Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Congress on Wednesday named senior oarty leader Ghulam Nabi Azad as All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge for Haryana.
With three months left for the Lok Sabha election and assembly polls due to be held later this year in Haryana, party veteran Azad would have a tough task ahead to unite the faction-ridden Haryana Congress.
Kamal Nath, Madhya Chief Minister was the previous incharge of Haryana Congress unit and could do very little to resolve the differences in leaders of state party unit.
The party state unit had been without an incharge following Kamal Nath’s appointment as MPCC chief in April last year.
The faction-ridden Haryana Congress is at present desperately looking to make a comeback in the state. Haryana Congress is divided in two dominant groups each led by state party chief Ashok Tanwar and former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
However, in view of crucial Jind bypoll, the senior leaders of Haryana Congress had decided to come together to lend support to party candidate Randeep Surjewala.
With Jind bypoll being seen as a semi-final of Lok Sabha election 2014, Ghulam Nabi Azad would also oversee the electioneering in the assembly seat.
The Congress had earlier appointed senior leader KC Venugopal as an observer for Jind bypoll.
After Azad’s appointment as party’s state incharge, the change in state leadership is also expected in the coming days in view of upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
In absence of any party in-charge for a long time, it was free for all in Haryana for the Congress leaders. While the two-time former Chief Minister Hooda, along with his 12 loyalists MLAs had last year began his rath yatra to connect with the people of all 90 constituencies, his detractor Ashok Tanwar had kicked off a cycle yatra in the state.
The former Chief Minister’s loyalists, who include 12 MLAs out of total 17 had been demanding a change in the state leadership since long. The demand has however been ignored by the Central party leadership so far.
The Congress could retain only one Lok Sabha seats out of 10 in Lok Sabha polls 2014. In assembly polls held later that year, the party was reduced to 15 seats, even losing the status of the main opposition party to the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in the state assembly.
The number of Congress MLAs had later increased to 17 after Kuldeep Bishnoi’s HJC’s merger in the party in 2016.