Ruling out that Om Prakash Chautala’s conviction by a Delhi court having any bearing on the party's leadership, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) on Saturday asserted that the former Haryana Chief Minister would continue as its chief and lead the party in the 2014 elections.
Even as he refuted various reports in the media, the president of the party's Haryana unit, Ashok Arora told journalists that in an eventuality of a re-election being ordered, both Mr. Chautala and his son, Ajay Singh Chautala, would be fielded to defend their seats.
A Delhi court, while disposing of a CBI case, convicted the Chautala father-son duo along with 53 others in the case related to irregularities in recruitment of about 3,000 junior basic trained (JBT) teachers.
Mr. Arora said that said that the party would challenge the verdict after the court pronounced the quantum of sentence on January 22. He claimed that even in the present judgment, the allegations of corruption were not established by the CBI.
Mr. Arora, who is the INLD's sitting MLA as well, said that conviction of Mr. Chautala was a direct example of the Congress misusing the CBI to remove its political opponents.
He cited the example of Jaganmohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh, where the CBI was misused by the Congress against its political opponents.
The INLD leader said that the same Congress adopted a different yardstick to deal with the findings of the committee of three officers, as well as official observations by a senior IAS officer, Ashok Khemka in a case of irregularities in land dealing by Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.