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Bhupinder Singh Hooda: Will the Congress heavyweight stomp his authority in Sonipat?

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Times Now
09th May, 2019 21:43 IST

Out of the 10 parliamentary constituencies in Haryana that go to polls in the sixth and penultimate phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, one constituency in the state is drawing up a lot of attention in particular. The Sonipat Lok Sabha seat has eyes fixated to it because senior Congress leader and two-time Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is contesting the elections from there. After suffering a debacle in the 2014 Haryana Assembly elections, the Congress heavyweight will be looking to prove a point on May 12.

Family and Personal Life

Bhupinder Singh Hooda was born in September 1947 to renowned freedom fighter Ranbir Singh Hooda and Har Devi Hooda in Rohtak, Haryana. He is married to Asha Hooda and the couple has a son Deepender Singh Hooda and a daughter together.

Educational Qualifications

After completing his schooling from Sainik School in Kunjpura, Hooda moved to the Punjab University to pursue Bachelors in Arts. He later shifted to the national capital to do LLB from the Delhi University. Hooda is an advocate and agriculturist by profession.

Political Journey

Bhupinder Singh Hooda began his political journey as a Youth Congress activist. In 1972, he was appointed the president of Congress Samiti of Kiloi Block, a position he held till 1977. Later in the 1980s, his political influence began to grow in Haryana as he kept rising through the party ranks. He was first made senior vice president of the Haryana Youth Congress wing and then chairman of Panchayat Samiti in Rohtak.

He made his electoral debut in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections and got successfully elected from the Rohtak Lok Sabha seat. He won the parliamentary elections from the Rohtak seat four times in a row till 2004.

In the 2000 Haryana Assembly elections, he was elected MLA from Kiloi and acted as the Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly from 2002 to 2004. Later in the 2005 Assembly elections, he retained the Kiloi seat by a margin of over 1 lakh votes.

Bhupinder reached the zenith of state-level politics in March 2005 when he became the Chief Minister of Haryana. Later in the 2009 Assembly elections, the Congress once again emerged triumphant and Hooda was named the CM for the second time.

It was in 2014 that he did not just fail to retain the CM seat for the third consecutive time but the Congress, under his leadership, performed poorly in that year's Legislative Assembly elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured 47 seats in the 90-seat state Assembly and formed the government while the Congress managed to receive only 15 seats.

Future Prospects

The 71-year-old Congress heavyweight has shrugged the drubbing of the past and is once again in the fray to prove his credentials. The Congress has fielded Bhupinder Singh Hooda from the Sonipat seat for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He is pitted against incumbent BJP MP Ramesh Chandra Kaushik and Digvijay Chautala of the Jannayak Janata Party (JJP).

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