Captain Abhimanyu is not only an extraordinary leader of BJP from Haryana, but also an important pillar of the party’s first government led by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar in the state. His rating was quite high as a national spokesperson of the BJP. His political courage has also been praised by his friends and foes alike. Though he lost most of the polls he fought in the past other than the one he contested and won in 2014 Assembly, he has always got a good number of votes, which shows his grip over the broad masses in his constituency. He has also shown exemplary political prowess in taking on the political might of none other than former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Rohtak. The two heavyweights are from Rohtak, which is also considered as the nucleus of Jat politics in Haryana. Talking to media persons on January 18 at his official residence in Sector 2, Chandigarh, Captain shared his anguish over the way an alleged conspiracy was hatched to finish his family and the kind of damage done to his properties during Jat quota stir in February last year. He appeared quite perturbed, but not ready to compromise with his resolve in taking on those behind violent attack on his house and other properties, which is now being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
He was equally vocal in asserting the fact that Haryana government led by Khattar has done everything possible to get quota for Jats in government jobs and institutions. He also said that by putting the Act in 9th Schedule of the Constitution does not guarantee total protection or immunity from the judicial review of the law framed by the Assembly. He also accused former Chief Minister Hooda of what was witnessed during Jat quota stir in the state. Captain even charged him with doing the ‘politics of blood.’ On the one hand, his pain was certainly understandable, but his unwillingness to accept the ‘government’s failure’ on the other was quite surprising. The larger conspiracy behind Jat quota stir, if any, is yet to be exposed, but the utter failure of government of the day in controlling the violence is in the public domain. There was total breakdown of law and order in the state. Water supply to Delhi had been blocked apart from the killing of 31 innocent people. The industry body-Assocham-had assessed total loss of business and properties worth Rs 31,000 crore due to the raging quota violence. The Council of Ministers headed by Khattar was keeping a watch on the entire issue and peace could be restored only when the government agreed to enact law to give quota to Jats in government jobs and admission in government institutions, a decision which has now been stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Be that as it may, Captain Abhimanyu seems to be fully prepared to take on Hooda’s political might in future as well. Politically, Rohtak is very important in Haryana. Even after losing the Lok Sabha and Haryana Assembly polls in 2014, Hooda managed to save his Rohtak citadel in parliamentary poll, but lost the Assembly seat to the BJP, a pain which he recently shared while interacting with some of his supporters and well wishers in Rohtak. In competitive politics, no one wishes to miss an opportunity to corner his rival. Captain Abhimanyu knows that as and when the people discuss and debate the burning of houses and other properties during Jat stir, how his house and other properties were targetted will automatically get prominence. It seems to have become a kind of tool with which Captain can hit his opponents for a longer period of time, but not indefinitely. The reports of Prakash Singh Committee have to be made public sooner or later. So long as these reports are kept away from the public domain, the BJP’s attack on Hooda will start losing its sheen.
Last week also saw some other interesting developments. A five-member committee has been constituted by the government to study the recommendations for police reforms by Prakash Singh Committee. The committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Keshni Anand Arora, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) of Revenue Department to study the recommendations. It is learnt that Prakash Singh has pointed serious flaws in the state’s policing mechanism. Rocky Mittal, appointed as Publicity Advisor to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, on January 19 said in Gurugram that Khattar is surrounded by a few corrupt bureaucrats and he will expose them in his songs. Mittal is a big fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mittal claimed that a few senior IAS officers, who were heading ‘cream posts’ during the previous Congress regime, have been trying to mislead Khattar for their own interests. Mittal’s exuberance cost his job. He was immediately removed.
Talking about corruption becomes an anathema if one holds a chair kept in the holy precincts of power centre. Mittal has claimed that he would go public with his revelation about corruption soon. One should wish Mittal good luck for his future endeavours. At least he is showing courage to talk about corruption. In democracy, corruption is a serious issue, which needs to be debated and discussed. Good wishes should also be extended to Finance Captain Abhimanyu for his resolve to expose those behind hawala operations being carried out from the state. He has said that the state and the Central governments, Income Tax Department and Enforcement Directorate are working in close coordination to check any violation of law in view of demonetisation.