Haryana Lokhit Party leader Gopal Kanda, who has supported the BJP after it fell short of majority in the state, is accused in a case of abetment to suicide of an air hostess.
The BJP emerged as the single largest party with 40 seats in the Haryana Assembly after results were announced on October 24. However, it fell short in the 90-seat Assembly, prompting it to seek the support of Independent candidates for the formation of government in the state.
After the announcement of the results, Kanda, who was elected from Haryana’s Sirsa, told reporters that he and all Independent candidates have decided to extend unconditional support to the BJP.
Why was Kanda booked?
Gopal Kanda was booked in 2012 for allegedly abetting the suicide of an air hostess employed with his aviation company MDLR Airlines. He was initially also booked for rape, but this charge was dropped when Delhi High Court granted him bail in 2014 in the abetment to suicide case, reported news agency PTI. Kanda was then Haryana’s home minister in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government.
The victim, Geetika Sharma, who was once employed with MDLR airlines, was found dead at her Ashok Vihar residence in northwest Delhi on August 5, 2012. In her suicide note dated August 4, she said she was ending her life due to “harassment” by Kanda and one of his employees. Kanda had denied the charge.
However, he was booked by the Delhi police in the case, in which he is currently out on bail. Six months later, Geetika Sharma’s mother also allegedly committed suicide and Kanda was again accused of abetment to suicide.
At that time, he held home, urban bodies, industry and commerce portfolios in the Hooda government, and had tendered resignation when the row erupted. Then in the opposition in Haryana, the BJP had held protests against Kanda, demanding his arrest.
Kanda, who was earlier associated with the Indian National Lok Dal, fought as an Independent and won the 2009 Assembly polls after being denied a party ticket. Later, he extended support to the Congress when it fell short of majority that year and was made a minister.
Kanda’s rise is well known in his hometown Sirsa, where he began as a shoe shop owner. He later joined the realty business and then dabbled with the aviation sector.
(With inputs from agencies)