‘Form Haryana govt but…’: Uma Bharti messages against Gopal Kanda support
Uma Bharti said it did not matter if Gopal Kanda, who faces abetment to suicide charges for the death of an air hostess and her mother, had cleared the electoral test.Updated: Oct 25, 2019, 16:39 IST
Uma Bharti, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader who exited electoral politics last year, on Friday spoke out against her party courting Haryana leader Gopal Kanda’s support to ensure that Manohar Lal Khattar, who is six seats short of the majority mark of 46 seats in the assembly, is able to form the next government.
In a string of eight tweets, Uma Bharti credited PM Modi and his efforts for the party’s performance in the Haryana elections. Then, she came to the point.
Uma Bharti said it did not matter if Kanda, who faces abetment to suicide charges for the death of an air hostess and her mother, had cleared the electoral test.
“I urge the BJP that we must not forget our moral position. We have a personality such as Narendra Modi and not just the country, the entire world is with Modi,” she said, asking the party to steer clear of Kanda.
Gopal Kanda was a minister in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda cabinet back in 2012 when he was accused of abetting suicide of an air hostess who worked in MDLR airlines that he had launched. The airline had stopped operations three years earlier. Later the woman’s mother also committed suicide.
Kanda had to resign from the Cabinet after an outpouring of outrage over the allegation and a high decibel campaign launched by the BJP. Kanda later floated the Haryana Lokhit Party that fielded candidates across Haryana in this round of assembly elections. He was the only one to win.
But when it became clear that the Manohar Khattar’s BJP won’t get a majority on his own, Kanda stepped in to help the BJP with the numbers. Before the day was out, the influential politician and businessman also became the public face of the effort to get the seven Independent candidates - 5 BJP rebels and two others - to support Manohar Khattar.
Uma Bharti reminded her party that Gopal Kanda hadn’t received a clean chit and the cases against him were still before the court. “Whether Gopal Kanda is innocent or guilty, this is something that the law will decide on the basis of the evidence. But his winning an election surely does not acquit him of the charges. There are many factors that lead to a win in an election,” she said in her tweet.
Uma Bharti is the first senior BJP leader to have spoken out against Kanda. But on social media, the lawmaker and the BJP have been the target of many barbs, some of them backed by photographs of the BJP’s protests in 2012 when the air hostess committed suicide and left a note him for exploiting her.
Businessman Kanda had first started out with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in 2009 but when the party did not field him, Kanda contested as an Independent and won. He was inducted in Bhupinder Singh Hooda government which was also falling short of a majority and became the state’s junior home minister.
Kanda denies the accusations of involvement in the suicide and insists that he is a victim of political moves engineered by the Congress and INLD who were jealous of his successes.