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Meet Haryana minister Anil Vij: BJP’s enfant terrible

india Updated: Jan 15, 2017 09:38 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Anil Vij

Haryana minister Anil Vij.(HT File Photo)

Known as the ruling BJP’s enfant terrible, Anil Vij is notorious for shooting his mouth off, making remarks, usually nasty ones.

There is a long list of people from actor Parineeti Chopra and boxer Vijender Singh to politicians Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi – who have faced his ire or have been the target of his unprovoked barbs in the past two years.

The minister even told a woman IPS officer to “get out” of a grievance committee meeting after a brief argument.

In 2016, Anil Vij also accused the state CID of spying on him, causing embarrassment to the state government.

A five-time MLA from Ambala cantonment, Anil Vij, who enjoys a reputation for honesty, also does not mind taking pot shots at Ha ryan a chief minister Man oh ar Lal Khattar, his other government and party colleagues, speaking or tweeting out of turn in utter disregard of protocol or the concept of collective responsibility. He also often quickly retracts his statements and has acquired the image of a flip-flop minister.

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When Olympian pugilist Vijender Singh, who is deputy superintendent of police (DSP) in Haryana police, turned professional, Vij ranted before media that Singh’s opting for money over nationalism, not correct. The minister suddenly fell silent on the subject later stating that it was for the state police to take a decision on his leave application to turn professional. Singh finally turned professional and toured abroad.

On the issue of transfer of IAS officer Ashok Khemka, who had cancelled the mutation of a land deal between Robert Vadra and DLF during the previous regime, from transport department after he pointed out certain irregularities in that department, Vij came out openly in the IAS officer’s support last year, tweeting that he would talk to chief minister about transfer. Vij retreated later softening his take and told reporters that everyone should be honest and one should not take it as medal. He also got upset over not being kept in the loop by officials regarding official functions of his departments where the CM had been invited. Vij tweeted: “Thank you chief minister for taking keen interest into my departments, I am relaxed’’.

Vij but quickly retreated when asked about his tweet and insisted that he was only thanking the chief minister. “Khattar and I are great friends. One should not read too much into it,” he said. Those who cannot live without eating beef should not come to Haryana. What is the need for them to come here? There are many countries Indians do not visit because of their food habits.” – Vij on beef ban.

“The people in the Congress are ‘Angrezon Ki Aulaad”-Vij said in the state assembly.

“Rahul should quit politics and open property dealing shop with his brother-in-law, Robert Vadra - Rahul & Vadra properties” – Vij’s tweet on the Gandhi family.

“I do not have any information of anybody appointed brand ambassador of my department for Beti Bachao programme.” Vij’s tweet on Parineeti Chopra’s appointment by Khattar.

“Everyone knows that Congress leaders are not afraid of doing wrong things. The DNA of all of you (Congress people) is the same” – Vij’s tweet on Congress.

In 2016, Anil Vij donated Rs 50 lakhs to Dera Sacha Sauda.

In 2015, Haryana woman IPS Kalia was transferred after a spat with Anil Vij.

While the state government was under fire for violence during Jat agitation in February, Vij came out in support of officials indicted by one-member commission Prakash Singh report.

The health minister, questioning the report, said, “Prakash Singh report is not the Geeta that everything written in it has to be right.”