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Jolt to Congress in Haryana ahead of assembly polls: Kiran Choudhry, daughter Shruti resign; to join BJP

Senior Congress leaders Kiran Choudhry and her daughter Shruti Choudhry have dealt a blow to the party in Haryana, announcing their departure to join the ruling BJP on Wednesday, just ahead of the upcoming October assembly polls.

Massive jolt to Congress in Haryana: Senior leader Kiran Choudhry, daughter Shruti resign; to join BJP snt
First Published Jun 18, 2024, 10:28 PM IST

Senior Congress leaders Kiran Choudhry and her daughter Shruti Choudhry have dealt a blow to the party in Haryana, announcing their departure to join the ruling BJP on Wednesday, just ahead of the upcoming October assembly polls.

Their resignations from the Congress were submitted on Tuesday, each letter to Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge subtly criticizing former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for running the state unit like his "personal fiefdom".

Shruti Choudhry, who held the position of working president in the Haryana unit of the Congress, and Kiran Choudhry, currently serving as MLA from Tosham in Bhiwani district, disclosed to PTI that they will formally join the BJP in Delhi on Wednesday.

Kiran Choudhry's departure marks the end of her extensive four-decade association with the Congress.

Their decision to switch parties is expected to provide a substantial boost to the BJP in Haryana as the state approaches its upcoming elections. Kiran Choudhry, who is also the daughter-in-law of former Haryana chief minister Bansi Lal, has been seen as a prominent opponent of senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

In their resignation letters addressed to Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, Kiran Choudhry, 69, criticized the Haryana Congress for operating as a "personal fiefdom". Meanwhile, Shruti Choudhry suggested in her letter that the state unit revolves around one individual, implying Hooda, accusing him of prioritizing his "selfish" and "petty interests" over the party's welfare.

"It is most unfortunate that the Congress party in Haryana is being run as the personal fiefdom leaving no space for sincere voices like mine, who have been stifled, humiliated and conspired against in a most well-orchestrated and systematic manner, thus, significantly hampering my diligent efforts to represent our people and uphold the values, I have always stood for," wrote Kiran Choudhry in her letter to Kharge.

Shruti, in her letter, said, "The Congress party in Haryana has, unfortunately, become one-person centric who has compromised the interest of the party for his own selfish and petty interests and it is thus time for me to move on so that I may continue to uphold the interest of my people and the values that I stand for."

Shruti expressed her deep-rooted heritage of serving the nation selflessly, striving earnestly to uphold the esteemed legacy of "selfless service" with utmost honesty and sincerity.

Kiran Choudhry reportedly expressed disappointment over Shruti Choudhry being denied a ticket from the Bhiwani-Mahendragarh constituency in the recent Lok Sabha elections, along with discontent over the overall ticket distribution by the party in Haryana.

On June 12, Congress General Secretary and Sirsa MP Kumari Selja subtly criticized Hooda, suggesting that had proper feedback been conveyed to the high command and if self-centered politics had been avoided, the party could have potentially won all Lok Sabha seats in Haryana.

In the recent Lok Sabha elections, the Congress contested nine out of ten seats in Haryana, while the Kurukshetra seat was unsuccessfully contested by the AAP, a constituent of the INDIA bloc. The Congress successfully secured five seats from the BJP.

Except for the Sirsa seat, where Kumari Selja, another adversary of Hooda, emerged victorious, candidates fielded by the Congress in the remaining eight seats were perceived to be loyalists of Hooda.

In Bhiwani-Mahendragarh, where Shruti had previously served as an MP, the Congress had nominated sitting MLA Rao Dan Singh, a loyalist of Hooda, who lost to BJP's incumbent MP Dharambir Singh.

There are rumors suggesting that Shruti might be considered by the BJP for the Rajya Sabha seat that will become vacant following the recent victory of Congress' Deepender Singh Hooda from the Rohtak Lok Sabha constituency. Kiran, however, affirmed that both she and her daughter will be joining the BJP without any conditions.

Without naming Hooda, Kiran Choudhry said, "They have pushed me into a corner. There is a limit to humiliation one can suffer."

In her resignation letter to Kharge, Kiran Choudhry, who has also remained a minister during the Congress regime headed by Hooda, wrote, "I have been a loyal and steadfast member of the Congress for the last four decades and have, over these years, devoted my life to the party and the people whom I represent."

"In Haryana, I also represent the rich legacy of late Chaudhary Bansi Lal, the architect of modern Haryana and my late husband Chaudhary Surender Singh," she added.

Kiran Choudhry stated that her primary aim and objective from the outset has always been to serve the people of her state and country.

"I am now unable to do the same under such constraints. In order to realise the aspirations of my people and workers, I am compelled to look ahead at a fresh start," Kiran Choudhry wrote in her resignation letter to Kharge.

Both expressed gratitude to Kharge, the Congress leadership, and the party for providing them with a platform to serve the people.

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