Congress slams BJP for accepting support of Haryana MLA Gopal Kanda

Haryana Lokhit Party leader Gopal Kanda during a roadshow after his victory in Assembly elections, in Sirsa district, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Hours after Haryana Lokhit Party (HLP) chief Gopal Kanda and a few other newly elected Independent members of the Haryana Assembly (MLAs) pledged their support on Friday to the BJP for government formation, the Congress said “daughters of the country are watching if the BJP had prioritised ‘power over women’s safety’.”

Former Lok Sabha member Sushmita Dev, who heads the All India Mahila Congress (AIMC), wrote an open letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, questioning him for taking support from Mr. Kanda, who is accused of harassing an air hostess and driving her to suicide in 2012.

“Shri Amit Shah ji, by tying up with a criminal like Gopal Kanda, questions are being raised about BJP’s commitment towards women’s security as well as morality. Today the country's daughters are watching what’s more important for you — power or women’s security,” said Ms. Dev on Twitter.

“Beti Bachao Gang of BJP is basically spineless and shameless. They boast about having a woman defence minister and finance minister and then accommodate rapists in their party,” Ms. Dev said in another tweet. Mr. Kanda was named in a case of abetment to suicide.

In August 2012, a young air hostess, Geetika Sharma, of the now defunct airline, MDLR — promoted by Mr. Kanda — ended her life and blamed the politician of harassment in a note she left. She had alleged that she was ending her life because of the harassment by Mr Kanda.

A businessman-turned-politician, Mr. Kanda was then a Minister in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government after he supported the Congress government as an Independent MLA. Following the allegations, Mr. Hooda not only dropped him from the Cabinet but the State police registered a case of abetment to suicide and rape. Subsequently, the rape charge was dropped but the abetment case is in court.

“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 [Congress] government in Haryana when we forced him to resign after registration of a case and also removed him from ministership,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said at a press conference.

“What was the stance of the BJP then and what sort of doublespeak is the BJP doing today,” he added and accused the BJP of being “hungry for power”.

“They [the BJP] have no right to form a government...Whatever they may do, finally democracy has prevailed and democracy has spoken. BJP has not been given a mandate to rule. Any government that the BJP forms will be an illegitimate and illegally constituted government,” Mr. Surjewala asserted.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 11:50:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/haryana-assembly/congress-slams-bjp-for-accepting-support-of-haryana-mla-gopal-kanda/article29797722.ece

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