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Cong stalwarts from Hry will meet same fate as in Jind bypolls: Khattar

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 24, 2019  | 22:53 IST

Chandigarh, Apr 24 (PTI) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Wednesday claimed that people have made up their mind to bring back the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre and said the senior opposition leaders will meet the same fate as in the recently held Jind bypolls. "The opposition party's existence is at stake and they are fighting for survival," Khattar said when asked if entry of Congress' stalwarts from different Lok Sabha seats in Haryana will make the going tough for the ruling BJP. While former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who is a sitting MLA, has entered the fray from Sonipat, Kumari Selja and state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar are fighting from Ambala and Sirsa, respectively. Former six-time MLA Ajay Singh Yadav is contesting from Gurgaon and senior leader Avtar Singh Bhadana from Faridabad and another sitting MLA and senior leader Kuldeep Sharma from Karnal. Talking about Jind bypolls, where Congress' senior leader Randeep Singh Surjewala lost finishing even behind the fledgling JJP candidate Digvijay Chautala, Khattar said, "In Jind too, they fielded their stalwart, you know what was the result." "Don't people know about Bhupinder Singh Hooda's history," Khattar said without elaborating, but taking a veiled dig at the Congress leader against whom many cases have been slapped by the present BJP government. On accusations of vendetta politics levelled by Hooda against the BJP government, he replied, "There is no question of pursuing vendetta politics." Referring to the multi-cornered contest in Haryana this time for the Lok Sabha polls that has players like the Congress, INLD, JJP-AAP and the LSP-BSP combine, the chief minister claimed that "BJP is definitely in a comfortable position". On farm loan waiver scheme of the Congress, he said such schemes have been going on for many years, "but ultimately solution has not come out". He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has talked about doubling farmers' income by 2022, even as both the central and the state governments have brought a number of schemes and taken various initiatives for peasants. Khattar also touched upon steps taken to rein-in corruption which he claimed was rampant in various spheres earlier. "We made everything transparent, we did demonetisation, brought GST, we are pursuing reforms. Now, if we think about politics and think we may lose votes, we will not be able to do anything then," he said. When asked if the BJP will get political gain from the Balakot air strike, Khattar said decisions to carry out such strikes are not taken to reap any political benefit and are done keeping in view the national interest. At the same time, he, however said when a war or such strikes are carried out "such incidents do leave an impact on people's minds and voters attach themselves with the national sentiment". Asked to clarify his recent statement on his party not averse to seeking votes from followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect, whose head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is serving a jail term in a rape case, the chief minister said they will approach everyone who has a right to vote. "It is not just about them (Dera followers), but everyone who has a right to vote, we will seek votes from them. In democracy, we openly seek votes, we are not hiding anything," he said. "We do not believe in discrimination, favouritism and justice for all is our mantra. We do not indulge in regional bias and have carried out all-round development," he said. Khattar claimed that his government aptly handled the Jat reservation agitation in 2016 and the Dera issue in 2017, when the sect head was brought to Panchkula from Sirsa for court hearing.    "People know that ours is a decisive government, we don't put problems under the carpet, we confront them and take decisions," he said. PTI VSD SUN SNE SNE

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