INLD calls Hooda's new found love for Punjabi unreal

Chandigarh: With Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda going all out to woo the Punjabis in Haryana, the opposition INLD has claimed his new found love for the community is unreal as the state government was earlier reluctant in according the second language status to Punjabi.

"The legislation was passed more than six years back by the INLD government in 2004 and should have been notified by the (Hooda) government immediately on assuming power (first term March 2005)," INLD's Haryana unit chief Ashok Arora said.

Punjabi was accorded the second language status in Haryana last month.

The government had been reluctant to accord the second language status to Punjabi all these years because the move was initiated by then Chautala government. Somehow the notification could not be issued then because of Model Code of Conduct coming into force (in view of the Feb 2005 Assembly elections), the INLD MLA said.

Hooda has during the past one month attended several functions of the community at various places.

Two days back, Hooda was seen speaking in chaste Punjabi at a Punjabi Maha Sammelan at Hisar. He had said he was now learning to read and write the language.

"Punjabi language does not belong to any particular area or community, but in itself it is a significant culture. Now, it is the duty of all of us to educate our children about Punjabi culture," he had said.

Meanwhile, Haryana Janhit Congress President and former MP, Kuldeep Bishnoi sought to give credit to then Bhajan Lal government for taking a number of steps for the welfare of Punjabi community.

"Let Hooda issue a white paper stating what he has done for Punjabis so far. It was during the Bhajan Lal government that the community had flourished," Bishnoi, Lal's younger son, said.