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Bhupinder Singh Hooda flexes muscle with mega rally, slams Opposition

Cong leadership showed a united face at the massive rally in projecting Bhupinder Singh Hooda as leader of the party and people of Haryana. (PTI)

If numbers in a rally are an indicator of a leader’s popularity, the Congress’s Shakti rally in Gohana in Sonepat district of Haryana on Sunday proved that criticism and anti-government campaigns by opposition parties have failed to dent Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s popularity. The rally broke all records in crowd participation in the state, the party claimed after the rally.

The Congress leadership in the state except for two detractors of Hooda — Kumari Selja and Rao Inderjit Singh — also showed a united face at the massive rally in projecting Hooda as leader of the party and people of Haryana.

The venue started getting packed by noon. Before Hooda landed in a chopper, the number of people, according to claims by the party, crossed 14 lakh. The Congress had been building momentum for the rally for the past few weeks. Hooda, displaying wit and humour, struck an instant chord with people.

“The only alliance possible in Haryana to form government is between me and people of Haryana,” he said, launching an attack on opposition parties making a bid to join hands against the Congress in next year’s elections.

Political parties have launched massive campaigns with an eye on next years’ Lok Sabha and Assembly polls. The HJC-BJP rally led by Modi in Rewari was followed by INLD’s Samman rally in Kurukshetra.

The INLD, in its Kurukshetra rally, claimed to have pitched the biggest ever tent.

Prof Virender Singh, political adviser to the chief minister, said they could not pitch a tent large enough to fit the crowd. “We did not place any chairs… nor (found) a tent this big in the entire country… This shows the strength and support Congress has in Haryana,” Singh said.

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