Out on six weeks’ interim bail in the JBT recruitment case, Indian National Lok Dal supremo and former Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala on Friday said the Congress Party was wary of his growing popularity and was misusing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to portray him as a criminal.

Speaking to the media persons for the first time since his arrest earlier this year, Mr. Chautala, who is in Medanta Medicity Hospital here for a heart surgery, said the Congress was misusing the CBI to silence the Opposition. Even the Supreme Court had remarked that the agency was a caged parrot.

He said he had full faith in the Indian judicial system and would come out clean in all cases pending against him.

Accusing Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of acting as a real estate agent on behalf of the builders, Mr. Chautala promised to return to the farmers their land if voted to power.

Replying to a question on possible alliance in the forthcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, Mr. Chautala said: “We are open to alliance with any political party except Congress with which we have ideological differences. We have family relations with several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and I attended all swearing-in ceremonies of Narendra Modi, but would still prefer Third Front over a BJP or a Congress government at the Centre.”