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Hitender Rao

Hitender Rao is Senior Associate Editor covering the state of Haryana. A journalist with over two decades of experience, he writes on politics, economy, migration and legal affairs with a focus on investigative journalism.

Articles by Hitender Rao

KEY contest: Karnal:Two-time chief minister takes on a tyro in a head-to-head contest

Call it a quirk of fate, the BJP leader who till March 12 morning was occupying the CMs chair, stepped down in the afternoon and was two days later fielded from Karnal Lok Sabha constituency by the party

The Karnal contest is being billed as David versus Goliath. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 23, 2024 06:42 AM IST

Campaign trail: Hooda starts quest to wrest power back from BJP in Haryana

At his Chandigarh residence, Hooda is surrounded by party workers, supporters and his advisers. His scheduled start of 10 am is delayed as he patiently listens to his workers and sort out things. In between, the AAP candidate, Sushil Gupta who is waiting for him at Ladwa grain market calls one of his aides to check his schedule.

Much is at stake for former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. The 2024 Lok Sabha election could prove to be a defining moment for the Congress leader who has been out of power for a decade now. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 18, 2024 06:30 AM IST
By, Kurukshetra

New excise policy: Liquor set to get costlier in Haryana from June 12

Hike in excise duty, licence fee for bars, bottling fee for beer estimated to increase revenue by over ₹110 crore; the state government took approval from the Election Commission for bringing the new policy during the imposition of model code of conduct as the allotment of liquor vends has to be made by inviting e-tenders.

Liquor bottles being carried in a gunny bag for illegal sale in Bihar. Police seized it showing how the bootleggers are adopting new methods to smuggle liqour for sale in dry Bihar India on Sunday Jan 13,2019.(Photo by Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times) (HT File/ Representational image)
Updated on May 16, 2024 08:34 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Haryana cabinet nod to new excise policy, prices to increase

The new policy, which is set to come into effect from June 12, will bring the state government an estimated increase in revenue of around ₹250 crore from the previous iteration of the policy

The Haryana cabinet on Wednesday approved the excise policy 2024-25, under which country, Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and imported foreign liquor (IFL) are set to get costlier due to hike in various charges. (Representational Image)
Updated on May 16, 2024 05:56 AM IST

State of parties: Faction-ridden Congress pins hope on anti-incumbency, farmers

Haryana’s principal Opposition party, the Congress, is a divided house. Lack of organisational set up at the district and block levels for the past decade, the inability of the party to act as an effective opposition and pin down the ruling BJP and frequent desertions, the faction-ridden grand old party is often pulled in different directions by party leaders

The Congress scored a nought in 2019 and 1999 Lok Sabha polls, even losing former chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s bastion, Rohtak. The 2019 loss can be attributed to Modi wave post Pulwama incident and Balakot air strikes in Pakistan, the Congress rout in 1999 Lok Sabha polls were an outcome of a decisive mandate the BJP got riding on the national sentiment of country’s Kargil War with Pakistan. (HT File)
Updated on May 15, 2024 05:22 AM IST

Nayab Singh Saini-led Haryana govt’s future hinges on 2 key factors

Experts said the governor can use their discretionary powers under Article 163 (1) of the Constitution and ask the government to prove its majority

Haryana chief minister Nayab Singh Saini passed a trust vote on March 13 after the JJP pulled support, prompting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to rejig the government. (PTI FILE)
Updated on May 09, 2024 02:08 PM IST

Haryana: Congress, JJP prompt each other to push for floor test

Congress and JJP prompt each other for a floor test to bring down BJP government in Haryana, but Congress hesitant to join hands with former BJP ally JJP.

The Congress has a strength of 30 MLAs and the JJP has 10 MLAs in the House. (HT Photo)
Updated on May 09, 2024 09:32 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Haryana BJP govt turmoil: ‘No time bar on seeking trust vote in the legislature’

Legal and parliamentary affairs experts said that there was no time bar for seeking a repeat no-confidence motion against the government.

As per the Constitution, the intervening period between holding two sessions of the state assembly should be less than six months. (HT File Photo)
Updated on May 09, 2024 03:22 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

BJP govt in Haryana may need JJP to abstain in case of trust vote

In fact, JJP’s abstention may prove crucial if the Opposition, Congress, pushes for convening an assembly session and moves a motion expressing want of confidence in the BJP-led ministry

The BJP and the JJP had joined hands in 2019 to form the government after the former fell short of winning a simple majority. (HT File)
Updated on May 08, 2024 12:07 PM IST
By, Chandigarh

Haryana political crisis: 3 MLAs turn back on BJP-led govt, go with Congress

Haryana BJP-led government faces crisis as three independent lawmakers withdraw support, back Congress.

Three independent MLAs Sombir Sangwan, Randhir Golan and Dharampal Gondar withdraw support from the BJP government in Rohtak on Tuesday. (ANI)
Updated on May 08, 2024 12:24 AM IST
BySunil Rahar, , Rohtak/chandigarh

Ticket to Brij Bhushan’s son may put BJP in tight spot in Haryana

Move gives fodder to Opposition leaders who gun for saffron party; a number of wrestlers, khap and Opposition leaders in Haryana on Friday slammed the BJP for giving a ticket to Karan Bhushan.

Olympic medal-winning grapplers Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia along with many others had staged a sit-in at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar last year demanding action against Brij Bhushan. (PTI FILE)
Updated on May 04, 2024 08:06 AM IST
By, Sunil Rahar, Chandigarh

Explainer: Politics behind not accepting Ranjit Singh’s resignation

Here's a look at the reasons and the politics behind the non-acceptance of resignation of Independent MLA.

Independent MLA from Rania in Haryana , Ranjit Singh. (HT File)
Published on Apr 28, 2024 01:18 PM IST

No anti-incumbency against central govt, says MoS Rao Inderjit Singh

Union Minister of State Rao Inderjit Singh is contesting his third election as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate from Gurugram Lok Sabha seat.

A five-time member of Parliament (MP), Inderjit had switched sides after quitting the Congress in 2014. (HT File)
Updated on Apr 28, 2024 04:32 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Interview| BJP has people’s trust, will score 10/10 again: Haryana CM Nayab Saini

Saini, who was picked by the BJP to substitute Manohar Lal Khattar on March 12 to tide over nine years of anti-incumbency before the Lok Sabha and assembly elections, spoke to HT on a range of issues from Brand Modi to party candidates facing farmer protests.

Haryana chief minister Nayab Singh Saini says the BJP will buck the anti-incumbency factor and reap electoral dividends of a double-engine government in both Haryana and at the Centre. (Keshav Singh/HT)
Updated on Apr 23, 2024 12:38 PM IST

Haryana: Blatant lapses led to school bus crash in Mahendergarh

Six students died in the mishap while many were injured. Here are the five reasons which led to the unfortunate incident

Mahendragarh, April 11: Six schoolchildren were killed and several others injured after the bus they were travelling in overturned near Unhani village in Kanina sub-division here at Mahendragarh district on April 11 (HT Photo/Manoj Dhaka)
Updated on Apr 13, 2024 04:48 PM IST
By, Chandigarh

School bus did not have a fitness certificate, RTA official suspended

Transport officials said that the school bus bearing registration number HR 66-A 7514 was also challaned by the district transport officer on March 13, 2023, for plying without a fitness certificate, without payment of tax and a high-security registration plate. A penalty of ₹15,500 was imposed, they said

Locals near a damaged school bus after an accident near Mahendragarh in Narnaul district, Haryana on Thursday. (PTI)
Updated on Apr 12, 2024 07:02 PM IST
By, Chandigarh

‘BJP has not allowed us to enter Delhi. We will not let them enter our villages'

Farmers in Punjab and Haryana are angry because the sector is in distress. Some BJP candidates have faced protests from farmers during their campaigns.

Farmers sit on a makeshift barricade of sand bags, at a protest site during the march towards New Delhi to push for better crop prices promised to them in 2021, at Shambhu Barrier, the border between Punjab and Haryana states, India February 23, 2024. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi(REUTERS)
Updated on Apr 08, 2024 09:41 PM IST

Panchkula land transaction: Ambala divisional commissioner made false declaration under conduct rules

Despite hearing and deciding an appeal filed by the land seller, the IAS officer in a written intimation told state govt that she did not have any dealings with the party (land seller) in her official capacity at any time

Since Phulia as divisional commissioner revoked the 2003 orders of the collector (agrarian), Panchkula, which had stayed the execution of sale deeds for the land in question, her quasi-judicial order of September 13, 2023, under section 24 of the Punjab Security of Land Tenures Act, 1953, enabled the sale-purchase of land involving her husband and son. (HT File)
Updated on Apr 04, 2024 07:00 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Election Commission notification: Bombay HC order to have bearing on Karnal bypoll

The HC quashed the EC notification of March 16 to hold Akola West assembly bypoll on the grounds that the remaining term of the incoming member would be less than a year. The same holds true for Karnal assembly bypoll too, announced by the EC on March 16.

The decision of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court to set aside Election Commission’s (EC) decision to hold a bypoll for Akola West assembly constituency in Maharashtra will have repercussions on the Karnal assembly byelection in Haryana. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/ Representational image)
Updated on Mar 28, 2024 07:12 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Change of Face: ML Khattar’s ouster was looming large in view of feedback from the ground

Two-time Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar ousted by BJP high command, making way for new government amid anti-incumbency sentiment.

Manohar Lal Khattar (HT File)
Updated on Mar 24, 2024 06:56 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Karnal by-election: EC move prompt debate over the legal provisions for by-poll

Khattar’s move to resign from the Karnal assembly seat was primarily aimed at accommodating the newly sworn chief minister and Kurukshetra MP Nayab Singh Saini.

Khattar’s move to resign from the Karnal assembly seat was primarily aimed at accommodating the newly sworn chief minister and Kurukshetra MP Nayab Singh Saini by getting him elected as a member of the state assembly. (HT File)
Updated on Mar 16, 2024 10:21 PM IST
By, Chandigarh

Challenges galore before new Haryana CM Nayab Saini

A race against time, poll code of conduct may hamper Saini’s innings in the hot seat; there are certain similarities in the way the newly sworn Haryana chief minister, Nayab Singh Saini and his predecessor and mentor, Manohar Lal Khattar who resigned on Tuesday, were chosen for the top post. Khattar, a first-time MLA then, did it almost a decade ago in 2014.

Haryana governor Bandaru Dattatraya administers oath to CM Naib Singh Saini at Haryana Raj Bhawan in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (Keshav Singh/ HT)
Updated on Mar 13, 2024 08:24 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Haryana twist: Nayab Saini replaces Khattar as CM, BJP cuts ties with JJP

Nayab Singh Saini, loyalist of Manohar Lal Khattar, sworn in as Haryana's new CM after BJP-JJP alliance collapse. BJP confident with 41 MLAs and 6 independents.

Newly sworn-in Haryana Chief Minister Nayab Singh Saini with his cabinet, governor Bandaru Dattatreya and former Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar at the Raj Bhavan in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (ANI)
Updated on Mar 13, 2024 05:06 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary: Haryana proposes fresh delineation of eco-sensitive zone

The Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary, spread over 25.98 square km (about 6420 acres), is under the administrative control of union territory of Chandigarh and shares its boundaries with Haryana and Punjab. The sanctuary is located in Shivalik foothills which are considered ecologically sensitive and geologically unstable.

The Haryana government has proposed that an area of 1,000 metres around the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary on the Haryana side be delineated as an eco-sensitive zone (ESZ). (HT File)
Updated on Mar 08, 2024 09:16 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Haryana’s law exempts Ram Rahim from being categorised as hardcore prisoner

The Haryana govt after seeking legal opinion from AG Baldev Mahajan in 2022 concluded that Ram Rahim did not fall in category of hardcore convicted prisoners.

Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim.(File)
Updated on Mar 02, 2024 04:30 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Haryana capex registered a decrease of 4,017 crore in current fiscal

In 2022-23, the state's capital expenditure decreased by ₹7,697 crore despite Khattar proposing a 17% increase for asset creation.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar presenting budget during the Budget Session at Haryana Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh on Friday. (Keshav Singh/ HT)
Updated on Feb 24, 2024 10:14 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Haryana CM proposes 1.89 lakh crore state budget

Announces waiver of interest and penalty on the payment of the principal amount of agricultural loans availed by farmers till September 2023

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar presenting the budget in the Vidhan Sabha in Chandigarh on Friday. (Keshav Singh/HT)
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 12:41 PM IST

INDIA bloc: Congress-AAP alliance in Haryana looks indefinite

AAPs state unit in neighbouring Punjab on Wednesday had ruled out a truck with the Congress for the Parliament elections

While the Haryana Congress leadership does not seem too keen to contest the Lok Sabha elections in alliance with the AAP in Haryana, the latter is more receptive about the prospects of a coalition. (HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 26, 2024 09:14 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Why is Ram Rahim, chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, out on parole again?

Convicted of rape in 2017, murder in 2019 and criminal conspiracy in 2021, the religious leader has been granted temporary release from prison for the 9th time

Chief of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda sect, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, is serving a 20-year sentence for rape and a subsequent life term for murder and another for conspiracy to murder at a Rohtak prison. (HT File)
Published on Jan 21, 2024 08:04 PM IST

SEIAA chairperson appointment: Central ministry sends back Haryana’s proposal to appoint retired army officer

Haryana asks environment ministry to allow former IAS officer Srow to continue as SEIAA chairperson till the new appointment. The Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) has sent back Haryana government’s recommendation to appoint a retired army officer, Lt Colonel Monish Ahuja as the new chairperson of State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Haryana.

The Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) has sent back Haryana government’s recommendation to appoint a retired army officer, Lt Colonel Monish Ahuja as the new chairperson of State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Haryana. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/ Representational image)
Updated on Jan 20, 2024 07:10 AM IST
By, Chandigarh
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