Manesar Land Deal: Haryana Congress MLAs Support Bhupinder Singh Hooda
Eleven Haryana Congress MLAs on Tuesday came out in the defence of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda who was quizzed by the CBI in connection with the Manesar land deal case, saying he had not done anything wrong.
File photo of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Chandigarh: Eleven Haryana Congress MLAs on Tuesday came out in the defence of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda who was quizzed by the CBI in connection with the Manesar land deal case, saying he had not done anything wrong.
They accused the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state of "misusing" such agencies and unleashing a "witch-hunt and indulging in political vendetta".
"Hooda has not committed any crime. He is clean. He has said that he is not scared to face any inquiry provided the government does not act out of vindictiveness," senior Congress leader and party MLA, Raghubir Singh Kadian told reporters in Chandigarh.
While Hooda was not present, most of his loyalist MLAs, including former speaker Kuldeep Sharma, Geeta Bhukkal and Anand Singh Dangi, came out in his strong support.
These Congress legislators even skipped a party meet in Chandigarh on Tuesday called by Haryana Congress president Ashok Tanwar.
At the press conference, both Kadian and Sharma alleged that the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state had unleashed political vendetta against Hooda and other opponents and were using various agencies as their "political extension" and "misusing" them.
Kadian claimed that the BJP government was perturbed by Hooda's growing popularity and rising political graph and was therefore targeting him.
On the Manesar case, Kadian alleged that private persons were registering complaints "and at whose behest they are doing so, everyone knows this".
"It is not prosecution, but naked persecution, which will boomerang on them. They are doing this to divert public attention from their own failures. The BJP government is drunk with power and they think they are here to rule forever," he claimed.
"If any finger is pointed towards Hooda, then we want to remind the BJP regime that he is not alone in this fight, but entire the Congress and 2.5 crore people of Haryana are solidly behind him. They (BJP) better keep off from entering the lion's den," Kadian said.
The CBI had questioned Hooda at its office here for nearly nine hours on May 15 in connection with the Manesar land deal case in which the land-owning farmers allegedly suffered a loss of about Rs 1,500 crore.
The agency had registered the case in September 2015 on allegations that private builders in conspiracy with unknown public servants of the Haryana government had purchased around 400 acres of land from farmers and land owners of village Manesar, Naurangpur and Gurgaon at throwaway prices.
Sharma alleged that the BJP wants to fix its political opponents, which was why a conspiracy was hatched to targetHooda.
"Om Prakash Yadav, a resident of Manesar village had filed a civil writ petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2011 for getting an inquiry done through CBI into the case.
"On December 15, 2014, the high court dismissed the writ petition by observing conduct of Prakash as malafide and influenced by sheer greed...," Kadian said.
He said the then Gurgaon police commissioner, Navdeep Singh Virk, registered a criminal case after a complaint was given by Prakash on August 12, 2015.
"Virk concealed/ignored that the high court had rejected Prakash's claim and even a SLP in the matter was pending in the Supreme Court.
"After registration of FIR on August 12, 2015, on the same night, Virk referred a letter to the then DGP, Haryana, wherein he made recommendation for a CBI probe into the matter. The advocate general gave legal opinion in the same matter a day prior when the FIR was registered, raising eyebrows," he alleged.
He claimed that the then DGP also did not get any preliminary inquiry done before referring the matter to the state's home department, even bypassing the chief secretary's office in the entire process.
Sharma claimed that even the chief minister did not obtain any report/comments from any of the departments concerned like HUDA, industries department, HSIIDC, before
ordering a CBI probe in the matter.
Sharma said former secretary of the home department, Subhash Chandra Goel, had written a letter this month to the CBI director, stating that Virk had recommended the CBI probe without mentioning the vital fact that the complainant of the matter had lost his case on merit before the high court. Replying to a question, Sharma said that the then Haryana government had given an affidavit in the court that CBI inquiry in the case was not needed.
"This affidavit has not been withdrawn and cannot be withdrawn because different parties may come to power but the government remains in continuity. This fact has also been hidden by the present government in this case," he claimed.
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