Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda claimed on Friday that the people were waiting to teach a lesson to the BJP for allegedly failing to fulfil the promises made before coming to power at the Centre and in Haryana. "Before the (2014) polls, the BJP made tall promises. But after coming to power, they failed to fulfil these. Now, the people are waiting for the polls to teach them a lesson," Hooda said at a public meeting at Jagadhri in Yamunanagar district.
He was speaking during the Congress' six-day 'parivartan' (change) yatra in the state, which was also attended party chief Rahul Gandhi.
Senior leader Kuldeep Bishnoi, who had remained conspicuous with his absence during the yatra so far and had also not attended the meetings of the party's coordination committee, was also present.
Other senior Congress leaders from the state who were present included Randeep Singh Surjewala and state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar.
Bishnoi claimed that the Congress would win all the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state, where polling is scheduled to be held in a single phase on May 12. "During our yatra so far, we have got tremendous public response. Everywhere we went people are fed up with the BJP. Farmers, labourers, poor, employees, traders... all are fed up," he said.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, the party's general secretary in charge of Haryana, said there was good public response to the procession.
"This yatra, which starts at 9 am, continues well past midnight as there is a tremendous public response. People want to change the BJP governments at the Centre and in Haryana. I am hopeful the people will give 10 seats to Congress," Azad said.
Former Union minister and Rajya Sabha MP Kumari Selja alleged that illegal mining had flourished in the Yamunanagar belt during the rule of Chief Minister M L Khattar.
The plywood industry, for which Yamunanagar is famous, had been adversely impacted by demonetisation and the goods and services tax, Selja said. "All sections are fed up during the BJP regime, including farmers, Dalits, backward classes."
Congress legislative party leader Kiran Choudhry hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and likened him to a "madari" (performer/conjurer) who "talks big, but fails to deliver".
Choudhry and Naveen Jindal, who is a former parliamentarian from Kurukshetra, addressed the public meeting when the procession reached Ladwa town in Kurukshetra district.
Gandhi and other leaders accompanying him in the bus from Yamunanagar to Kurukshetra halted briefly at a 'dhaba' (roadside food stall) on the national highway in Indri and had food and tea there.The yatra, which started on Tuesday, will cover all 22 districts, 10 parliamentary constituencies and about 60-70 assembly constituencies out of 90 segments. It will end in Faridabad on Sunday.