Chandigarh: The BJP will not take the support of Haryana Lokhit Party legislator Gopal Kanda, a controversial politician who faces two abetment to suicide cases, to form the government in Haryana, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad confirmed on Saturday.
"I want to clarify that the BJP is not going to take the support of Kanda," he told reporters.
Kanda had, on Friday, said he had decided to extend “unconditional support” to the BJP. The party came under attack from the Congress after the Sirsa MLA’s offer.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused the BJP of doublespeak. "I think you should look at the statements made by (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and (Union Home Minister and BJP chief) Amit Shah when Gopal Kanda was a minister in Haryana, when we forced him to resign after registration of a case (against him) and also removed him from ministership," he said in Delhi.
In a tweet, former Union minister and senior BJP leader Uma Bharti 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.
The BJP has emerged as the single-largest party with 40 seats in a hung Haryana Assembly, beating the Congress, which won 31 seats. Dushyant Chautala's Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) has 10 MLAs and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) one.
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 granted bail 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.