Infighting cost us "heavily", admits Haryana Cong chief

Admitting that infighting cost the Congress "heavily" in the recently held assembly elections in Haryana, a senior leader on Monday said that the party lost many seats due to this factor.

Updated: Nov 10, 2009, 00:35 AM IST

Chandigarh: Admitting that infighting cost the
Congress "heavily" in the recently held assembly elections in
Haryana, a senior leader on Monday said that the party lost many
seats due to this factor.

"We lost many seats due to infighting," HPCC chief Phool
Chand Mullana told reporters after chairing a meeting here
called to analyse reasons behind Congress` below expectation
poll performance and to give a fillip to party`s membership

Congress, which had won 67 seats in 2005 state assembly
elections, won 40 seats this time, falling six short of a
simple majority in the 90-member House.

Pointing towards the role of some leaders within the
party without naming anyone for its poor performance than
expected, Mullana said, "Yes, we have received complaints. The
party`s Disciplinary Action Committee will give a show cause
notice to those who have worked against the party."

Former Chief Minister late Bansi Lal`s son Ranbir
Mahendera was among three Congress MLAs, who had blamed a
senior leader for losing the election.

"We have received complaints from many places (on
infighting) including from Bhiwani as well," he said in
response to a question.

Mullana, who himself lost the polls from Mullana
constituency in Ambala, said, "We will apprise the party High
Command on the shortcomings because of which we could not
deliver as per our expectations."

Asked if the talks with Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) on
extending support to the government or HJC joining it had
reached any conclusion, Mullana said, "The high command is
also talking to them. There are others too who are in touch
(with the HJC). We hope they will join us."

He said that HJC supremo Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of former
Chief Minister Bhajan Lal had been in the Congress earlier.

"It is in the interest of HJC and the Congress that they
(HJC) should merge their party with ours," he said.

Mullana said that soon the Haryana Congress will convene
a state-level general body meeting of the party, which will be
followed by another meeting at the zila level, with an aim to
strengthen the party.

He also said that the membership drive was on and will
continue till year end.

Four HJC lawmakers join Congress

Four of the six newly-elected legislators belonging to former chief minister Bhajan Lal`s Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) Monday joined the Congress party in Haryana, and another HJC lawmaker has also expressed his wish to join the ruling party.

The four legislators, who were elected on the HJC ticket in the Oct 13 assembly poll, were specially flown in to Chandigarh and made to appear before assembly Speaker Harmohinder Singh Chatha in the assembly complex here and convey to him their decision to join the Congress party.

The HJC, which had six legislators in the assembly, is led by Bhajan Lal and his son Kuldeep Bishnoi. The move is a major setback to the HJC and Bishnoi.

The four legislators - Zile Ram, Vinod Bhayana, Satpal Sangwan and Narender Singh - gave letters to the speaker that they were breaking from the HJC and their group was joining the Congress party.

Chatha immediately declared the legislators as Congress members.

"With these legislators joining, the strength of the Congress has gone up to 44 in the assembly," Chatha told the media Monday evening.

"The merger of these legislators is 100 percent legal. They have legally split from the HJC. From today, these four are Congress legislators," Chatha said.

The remaining HJC legislators are Kuldeep Bishnoi, the HJC president, and Dharam Singh Chokker.

Late Monday evening, Chokker wrote to Speaker Chatha wishing to join the Congress.

Bureau Report with IANS input