The factionalism within the Congress' Haryana unit had reportedly been brewing since February
The Indian National Congress' Haryana unit has been battling infighting ever since it lost in all the 10 parliamentary constituencies in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which had won seven seats in 2014, won all the seats this time.
The Congress' loss in Haryana gave rise to demands for the state unit chief Ashok Tanwar to resign. On June 9, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's supporters met at his residence to urge the party leadership to "strengthen the state unit", according to a report by The Times of India.
The report suggests that this was perceived as a push for Tanwar's ouster from the post of the state chief.
Tanwar, on his part, has stated that he would not resign from the position as the party's loss was a collective responsibility. During last week's brainstorming session to review the party's defeat, Tanwar had retaliated at his detractors within the party by remarking, "you shoot me if you want".
Haryana is gearing up for the Assembly elections, scheduled for later this year. The report suggest that Hooda, in a meeting of legislators and other senior party leaders, told them to give their suggestions about Congress' preparation for the forthcoming polls in writing. Hooda, according to the report, has given the leaders ten days to come up with a strategy for the elections.
The factionalism within the Haryana unit of Congress had reportedly been brewing since before February, when senior party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala lost the Jind bypoll and accused some Congress leaders of not supporting him.
Earlier in January, the infighting had come to fore after the Tanwar faction insisted on contesting the civic body polls while the Hooda faction had resisted the suggestion. The party did not eventually contest the polls, but had unsuccessfully supported a number of candidates in the five municipal corporations and two municipal committees that went to polls.According to a report by India Today, Hooda plans to launch the campaign for the Assembly elections from July itself. The former CM plans to hold press meetings in Chandigarh and Delhi against incumbent CM Manohar Lal Khattar, to expose the alleged corruption of the BJP-led state government.