The Gurugram Lok Sabha MP declares it is time to expand beyond Ahirwal
Hinting at his plans to play a bigger role in Haryana politics, Gurugram Lok Sabha MP and Union Minister of State Rao Inderjit Singh on Thursday emphasised the need to step outside the Ahirwal region (Gurugram-Rewari-Jhajjar belt) and fight the “Battle of Panipat”. He also asserted that his self-respect and that of his people and region was “not negotiable”.
Mr. Rao was speaking at a rally, “Shaheedi Diwas Samaroh”, to mark the martyrdom of Rao Tularam, one of the key leaders of Indian rebellion of 1857 in Haryana.
Taking a dig at the State leadership for the poor show in the Assembly elections in 2019, Mr. Rao said a slogan “Abki Baar, 75 Paar” came from nowhere during the elections and everybody became complacent, but when the results came they even lost a few seats in the Ahirwal region such as Rewari. He added that since the State leaders had failed to deliver what they had promised, it was now time for them to step outside the Ahirwal region and help them. “Will we confine ourselves to just fighting for the Ahirwals, or step outside the region to fight the ‘Battle of Panipat?,” asked Mr. Rao, a five-time MP.
He, however, praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that it was the blessings of “Narendra Bhai” and the support of Ahirwal region that the BJP formed its first full-majority government in Haryana in 2014. “Congress was so popular in Ahirwal region, but they did not get even a single seat in this region in 2014. Why was it so? We have contributed to the formation of two successive BJP governments, but have we been rewarded enough? I don’t want an answer to it, and leave it your wisdom,” said Mr. Rao.
Mr. Rao, who started his speech saying that he will speak his heart out in the last five minutes, said that he was the leader of the masses and not a “parachute leader”. He also cautioned his party that he did not want anything from it, but his self-respect and that of his people and region was not “negotiable”.
Though Mr. Rao did not elaborate, his remarks are being seen in the context of ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ by newly-appointed Union Cabinet Minister Bhupender Yadav in the Ahirwal region, amid speculations that the BJP might give Mr. Yadav bigger responsibility in the State. Mr. Rao also advocated the need to resume talks with the farmers.
The septuagenarian leader also announced that he had no plans to retire. “I was in dilemma, but thanks to my foes, who were constantly pushing me to retire, I have now decided not to retire,” said Mr. Rao, amid loud cheers.
His daughter Arti Rao Singh, who was denied the BJP ticket last year due to the party’s policy, announced that she would contest election next time with the blessings of the people of the region. She, however, added that it was not clear as to how and from where she would contest the election.
State BJP chief Om Prakash Dhankar, three Haryana Lok Sabha MPs, two State government Ministers and two MLAs from the region were also present.
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