Ravi Shankar Prasad attended the Haryana BLP MLAs meeting on Saturday (Photo Credit: ANI)
Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) will not take support of Haryana Lokhit Party leader Gopal Kanda for government formation in Haryana. Senior leader Ravi Shankar Prasad confirmed that BJP will not take any form of support from the controversial MLA from Sirsa. He was speaking to media after the election of Manohar Lal Khattar as the leader of BJP legislative party in Haryana.
Earlier, Haryana Minister and BJP leader Anil Vij has said that there was no question of including Gopal Kanda in the government or taking his support.
"I want to clarify one thing that the BJP is not going to take the support of Kanda," Prasad said.
Kanda had, on Friday, said he had decided to extend his unconditional support to BJP. The ruling party in Haryana had came under attack from the Congress for seeking Kanda's support. Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused the BJP of doublespeak.
Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Uma Bharti had also cautioned her party, saying taking Kanda's support to form the government in Haryana could hurt the clean image of Modi and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Kanda, the Sirsa MLA, was arrested in 2012 for allegedly abetting the suicide of an airhostess, who worked for his now-defunct aviation company. He was also initially booked for rape, but the charge was dropped when the Delhi High Court granted him bail in the abetment-to-suicide case in 2014.
In 2012, Kanda was Haryana's home minister in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government. He also held the urban bodies, industry and commerce portfolios. Geetika Sharma, once employed with Kanda's now-defunct MDLR Airlines, was found dead at her Ashok Vihar home in northwest Delhi on August 5, 2012. In her suicide note, she said she was ending her life due to "harassment" by Kanda and one of his employees. Kanda had denied the charge. He was booked by the Delhi Police in the case, in which he is currently out on bail.
Six months later, Sharma's mother also allegedly committed suicide and Kanda was again accused of abetting it. Kanda tendered his resignation when the row erupted. Then in the opposition in Haryana, the BJP had held protests against the controversial politician, demanding his arrest.
Kanda, who was earlier associated with the INLD, fought the 2009 Haryana Assembly polls as an Independent and won, after being denied a party ticket. Later, he extended his support to the Congress when it fell short of majority and was made a minister.
Kanda's rise is well known in his hometown Sirsa, where he was the owner of a shoe shop once. He later joined the real estate business and then dabbled with the aviation sector.
(WITH PTI INPUTS)