New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Despite failing to reach the majority mark in the Haryana assembly elections, the BJP is all set to form the government in the state, as six independent MLAs including the Haryana Lokhit Party leader and controversial politician Gopal Kanda, who is accused in a rape and abetment to suicide case.  

Kanda, after the results were declared in a media briefing, said that all seven independent MLAs including him have unanimously decided to render their support to the BJP, as reported by PTI. The MLAs have also met BJP working president JP Nadda in Delhi to give support to the party.

In the aftermath of accepting his support, the BJP is facing criticism from the opposition Congress as well as BJP leader and former union minister Uma Bharti, over his past and criminal cases lodged against him.

Uma Bharti in a series of tweets criticised her party’s move to accept Gopal Kanda’s support and recalled the row in which the politician was involved when as a minister in Haryana's Congress government in 2012.

The former Union minister also cautioned her party that this could hurt the clean image enjoyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

While the opposition attacked the BJP for their hypocrisy and termed the move as ‘hunger to retain power’. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused the BJP of doublespeak and said, "I think you should look at the statements made by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah at the time when Gopal Kanda was a minister in the government in Haryana, when we forced him to resign after registration of a case and also removed him from ministership,” as reported by PTI.

The BJP is mainly counting on the support of Kanda, the lone MLA from his party, and seven independents to cross the majority mark in the 90-member House. However, media reports quoted sources saying that he won't be a part of the cabinet in the Manohar Lal Khattar government if the BJP forms the government with the support of eight MLAs including Abhay Singh Chautala and controversial MLA from Sirsa, Gopal Kanda.  

After he was declared the winner from the Sirsa seat Gopal Kanda said as quoted by news agency PTI, “My family is connected with the RSS since 1926. My father was connected with the BJP. There is only one false case of 306 (Indian Penal Code section related to abetment to suicide) against me, adding that "It is easy to make accusations” while trashing reports that he faced many other cases as well.  

The Sirsa MLA was booked in 2012 for allegedly abetting the suicide of an air hostess Geetika Sharma employed with his aviation company MDLR airlines. She was found dead at her Ashok Vihar home in northwest Delhi on August 5, 2012.

In her August 4 suicide note, she said she was ending her life due to "harassment" by Kanda and one of his employees. Kanda, however, denied the charge. He was booked by the Delhi police in the case, in which he is currently out on bail.

Gopal Kanda was the Home Minister in the Hooda-led Congress government in Haryana and also held urban bodies, industry and commerce portfolios. He resigned after the case was lodged against him in 2012.

The BJP then in opposition had held massive protests against the Congress government and demanded the arrest of the leader. He was also associated with the INLD and fought and won the assembly elections of 2009 as an independent candidate after the INLD refuses to give him the ticket. He then extended his support to the Congress and was made a minister in the cabinet.

Kanda began his career as a shoe shop owner, later he joined the realty business and then entered the aviation sector and started an aviation company MLDR.

Asked what made him and independent candidates extend support to the BJP, Kanda said as quoted by PTI, "We felt that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership, the country is progressing well and even the state government has delivered and provided a clean and transparent regime. So all independents talked yesterday and felt that the development work should continue, and therefore we decided to extend unconditional support to the BJP,” he said.

A senior Haryana BJP leader said four of the winners -- Balraj Kundu from Meham, Nayan Pal Rawat from Prithla, Sombir Sangwan from Dadri and Randhir Gollen from Pundri -- fought as Independents when they did not get BJP tickets.

Besides, two other independents Rakesh Daulatabad, Dharampal Gonder are said to have BJP leanings. Ranjit Singh Chautala, a Congress rebel, has already announced his support to the BJP.



(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talib Khan