Sure of victory, Hoodas campaign elsewhere

May 1st, 2009 - 10:28 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party By Jaideep Sarin
Chandigarh, May 1 (IANS) Congress MP Deepinder Singh Hooda has been touring the villages of Haryana’s Sonipat and Karnal districts despite the summer heat and dust. But that is not from where he is contesting the Lok Sabha elections.

Hooda, 31, is seeking re-election on the Congress ticket from Rohtak. But given his father-cum-Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s clout in that constituency, Hooda junior can afford to campaign for other Congress candidates in nearby Lok Sabha constituencies.

Sonipat Lok Sabha Congress candidate Jatinder Singh Malik, Karnal MP Arvind Sharma and others are benefitting from the younger Hooda’s decision to be away from his fiefdom.

“It is not easy for me to leave my constituency but I am doing this for the party,” Deepinder Hooda, a traditional scarf strapped on his head to protect him from the sizzling heat, said as he campaigned for Sharma in Karnal’s Jorasi village in Panipat district.

Every time Deepinder emerges from the sunroof of his vehicle, he greets people with a loud and clear “Ram Ram ji” and persuades them to vote for Congress candidates.

The suave and young Hooda, an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, was working as a senior manager with US company Sabre Holdings when he was recalled and pushed into politics in 2005 after his father resigned the Rohtak Lok Sabha seat on becoming Haryana’s chief minister.

Deepinder won the seat by an impressive margin of nearly 232,000 votes in an October 2005 by-election.

An engineer by profession, Hooda junior has earlier worked with the Reliance Group and Infosys Technologies.

Elections to Haryana’s 10 Lok Sabha seats take place May 7, and the ruling Congress is hopeful of doing well. The party had bagged nine of the 10 seats in the 2004 general elections.

“Deepinderji is sought by several Congress candidates. In between his own campaigning in Rohtak, he is touring elsewhere also,” Haryana Congress Committee’s spokesman Surender Singh Hooda told IANS.

While Deepinder can afford to leave his constituency during peak campaign time, his father is touring neighbouring states to campaign for Congress candidates as well.

Hooda senior has been to areas in western Uttar Pradesh’s Jat-populated Aligarh, Muzaffarnagar and Bulandshahr districts. Earlier, he had been to Rajasthan’s Jaipur, Ajmer and other districts.

He will be travelling to neighbouring Punjab and has also been called to campaign in Uttarakhand.

When he is not travelling to other states, Hooda senior is moving around in his special election vehicle to campaign for Congress candidates within Haryana.

With assembly elections in Haryana due in less than a year, the Lok Sabha polls are seen as a testing ground for Hooda’s four-year-old government. Though he claims the Congress will win all 10 Lok Sabha seats, it will not be easy to even repeat its nine-out-of-10 performance of 2004.

The Indian National Lok Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance and the new Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) floated by former Congress leader Bhajan Lal are not going to let the Congress have a walkover.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at

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