Exactly why has Kumari Selja been appointed chief of the Haryana Congress and Rahul Gandhi loyalist Ashok Tanwar thrown out? Wags in the Congress party say it is because Selja supporters know ‘mere paas maa hai’ (I have my mother). When Sonia Gandhi took ill in the Lok Sabha, it was to Selja that she turned who escorted her out of the Parliament House and solicitously waited with her for her car. On several other occasions, Selja has been by Sonia Gandhi’s side. She has been made chief though she too is a dynast — her father was a senior member of the Congress party and she got a party nomination for the Lok Sabha for the first time when he died.
Now, it is a level-playing field. Both BS Hooda (chief of the Congress Legislature Party) and Selja lost the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The only difference is Tanwar and Hooda couldn’t stand each other. But Selja and Hooda are friends. But obviously, Tanwar supporters are not happy. In Sirsa, two people, including a woman, believed to be ardent supporters of Tanwar, thrashed district party secretary Sangeet Kumar when he was removing photographs of the former state Congress chief from the party office.
But there is one thing. Hooda has proved that you can push the high command into taking decisions. The former Haryana CM had formed a 36-member panel of his loyalists, which had asked him to decide the future course of action for the faction led by him in the party a few days ago. Perhaps the high command got wind of this move and realised that without Hooda, it would be hard to get the Congress party to stand in the state. Most people say change is for the better but that it has come too late. We’ll know soon enough.