Defending Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Monday claimed that his government never gave any favour to him (Vadra) to acquire land in the state.
Hooda said this on the sidelines of a rally in support of Congress nominee Mohinder Singh Kaypee. "We did not give even an inch of land to anyone — neither Robert Vadra nor anyone else," he said when asked about the fresh controversy involving Vadra's alleged land deals.
Tracing his roots to Punjab, Hooda said it pained him to see the state losing its sheen. "Punjab is Haryana's big brother but has been surpassed by the latter in more ways than one. Punjab used to be the number one state in the country but this position has now gone to the younger brother which now has much faster growth rate and higher per capita income," Hooda claimed.
He drew a comparison between the two states regarding facilities to the people, concluding that only one family (Badal) had witnessed progress in Punjab.
Many senior Congress leaders were present on the dais with Hooda. Former MLA Ram Lubhaya, who represented Sham Churasi in 2002-2007, was conspicuous by his absence. Lubhaya is the husband of union minister Santosh Chowdhary. When contacted, he said he was not approached by the candidate to campaign for him.
He claimed that even Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who is the state election campaign committee in-charge, did not ask him to join even when she was in Hoshiarpur on Sunday.
"We cannot be humiliated more," he said.