Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday accused the Opposition parties in the State of trying to cobble together a coalition before the elections to cheat people and sought a long-lasting alliance between the Congress and the people of Haryana.

Addressing a well-attended “Shakti Rally” in Sonipat’s Gohana town showcasing his party’s political strength in the State, Mr. Hooda said the BJP, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) were planning to join hands against the Congress to forge a grand alliance, but it was a “Thag Bandhan” (an alliance of crooks).

“The BJP has tried an alliance with everyone in Haryana, be it Devi Lal, Bansi Lal or Bhajan Lal’s son Kuldeep Bishnoi. They are unable to decide which way to go. I still remember Choudhary Charan Singh once telling me that the BJP cannot be the well-wisher of the poor and downtrodden,” said Mr.. Hooda.

Staking his claim to chief ministership in Haryana for the third successive term, Mr. Hooda asserted that he was second to none in political acumen and he managed to muster the requisite number of legislators to form government overnight in 2009. Referring to the crowd as his “Gulabi Sena,” as most of them wore pink turbans, Mr. Hooda said that he only needed their support and all external and internal hurdles in his way would then be taken care of.