Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who has not addressed students in the over nine years that he has been Haryana chief minister, has decide to test his state's EDUSAT equipment this Teacher's Day. He will make his address at 11.30 am on September 5, a few hours before the PM speaks. (Also Read: Change Your Speech Time, Not School Hours, Says Congress on PM's Teacher's Day Plans)
Stealing the thunder from Mr Modi's special programme could help ameliorate a considerable bruise to Mr Hooda's ego. He has vowed that he will not share the stage ever again with the Prime Minister after he was booed at a public function in his state, where Mr Modi was present. The same crowd had roared with approval at Mr Modi's speech. ('Will Avenge Insult with Power of Votes': Bhupinder Hooda on Booing Incident)
In a government circular, Haryana schools, including some elite schools in posh Delhi suburb Gurgaon, have been instructed to arrange for TV sets if the EDUSAT (education satellite) equipment is not functioning and to ensure uninterrupted power supply for both speeches, to be telecast live.
The Centre clarified yesterday that schools can choose whether or not to make students sit through Mr Modi's programme. He will address and interact with about 1,000 students at a Delhi auditorium and simultaneously with students at other centres through video conferencing. (Also Read: Delhi Private Schools Unhappy over Order on PM Modi's Live Address)
Elections are due in Haryana next month and PM Modi's party, the BJP, is making every effort to dislodge Mr Hooda's Congress government. The Congress has ruled the state for a decade straight, but the BJP fancies its chances this time based on its performance in this year's national elections. It had won eight of Haryana's 10 seats.