Son using pressure tactics with eye on property: Henry
The controversy over the union ministry of home affairs' (MHA) decision to cease the Indian citizenship of Avtar Henry, Congress leader and former Punjab minister, took a turn on Friday as he accused his son Gurjit Sanghera of virtually blackmailing him by levelling false allegations to grab a share in his property worth crores of rupees.
Earlier, the MHA, in a communiqué to the Punjab government, said Henry's Indian citizenship was ceased on the grounds that he had acquired British citizenship in 1969. Henry was, however, allowed to acquire Indian citizenship by following the prescribed procedure. Henry alleged that it was Sanghera who illegally secured an Indian passport in 1999 by submitting false particulars even as he was a Briton by birth.
He also demanded a high-level probe into how Sanghera was able to acquire land and registered businesses in India despite being a British citizen. "I am filing an appeal against the MHA's decision after receiving a copy of the order," Henry said.
Henry recalled: "Though Gurjeet got selected as a police inspector, he refused to join the service. I never discriminated against my son. We arranged a lavish wedding for him. Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral and chief minister Parkash Singh Badal were among the dignitaries who attended the marriage. I arranged for his honeymoon in UK. I did my best as a father, but to no avail."
In 2009, Sanghera publicly accused his father of holding a British citizenship as well as an Indian passport. Henry's detractors within the Congress and the BJP also extended tactical support to Sanghera's campaign. "This malicious campaign is not a battle to get justice. It's actually part of Gurjeet's "blackmailing" plans to pressurise me so that I should give him a share from my properties and assets," he said.
Sanghera denied the same and said though he was the only legal heir of Henry, he would not claim a single penny on this count. "I am happy with my business and respectfully earn much to serve my family," he said.