Hoodas back Article 370 abrogation

Hoodas back Article 370 abrogation

In rebellion mode, ex-CM says he’s CM candidate, with or without Congress

Rohtak: Congress's Haryana stalwart Bhupinder Singh Hooda raised eyebrows by declaring support for the government's move to end special status for Jammu and Kashmir - deviating widely from the party line ahead of the coming elections in the state.

His sharp criticism of the Congress on that score triggered speculation whether he was on his way out of the party he served for more than four decades. The 71-year-old, however, said he would not quit the party, but constitute a committee of 13 MLAs who would decide the future course of action.

"(Article) 370 was removed and many of my colleagues opposed it. My party has lost its way a bit. It is not the old Congress any more. When it comes to issues of patriotism and self-respect, I will never compromise," Bhupinder Hooda said at a political rally in Haryana's Rohtak.

His son Deepender Singh Hooda also spoke on the same lines, and even indicated that he has reservations about the "method" adopted by the government. "I have always kept national interest above political one... let's talk of Article 370... It was a temporary settlement... I opposed the way it was scrapped, but I support its removal.

I will always support this... but people who are using this for political mileage - I am not with them," Huda junior, a former MP. The Hoodas' sudden divergence from the party line is seen as move to arm twist the party.

Over the last weeks, their supporters have been demanding that the former Chief Minister be made the chief of its state unit, replacing Ashok Tanwar, who currently holds the post.

Senior Hooda declared himself as the chief ministerial candidate, with or without his party. Over the last week, there has been a buzz that both father and son would announce anytime that they are quitting the party.

But the situation stabilised after Sonia Gandhi was named as the party's interim chief, said insiders of the faction-ridden state unit.

Shotgun heaps praises on PM

Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha on Sunday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day address as 'extremely courageous' and 'thought-provoking'.

Sinha, who crossed over to the Congress after the Bharatiya Janata Party refused him a ticket from Bihar's Patna Sahib, profusely praised Modi for the announcement creating the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

'Since I am famous or infamous for calling a spade a spade, I must admit here, Hon'ble PM @narendermodi @PMOIndia that your speech from the #RedFort on 15th Aug'19 was extremely courageous, well researched and thought-provoking.

Superb delivery of the key problems facing the country,' Sinha said in a tweet.

The actor-turned-politician tweeted that Modi certainly deserved to be applauded and appreciated as he 'hit the nail right on the head, by speaking out on vital issues with a plan for a forward-looking India'.

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