Facing heat over alleged irregularities in various land deals during his tenure, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today said that if the BJP government felt anything wrong had been done, it should initiate action. “I am saying nothing illegal has been done (on land deals). Why should the government wait for the Dhingra Commission report (to be made public). If they feel anything wrong has been done, they should take action,” Hooda said, referring to the committee set up by the BJP government to look into various land deals.
Hooda said that not even a single inch of land had been given to any developer by the previous Congress government and asserted that if any wrongdoing was proved, he would retire from politics. Commenting on a private TV channel airing the purported S N Dhingra Commission’s report, Hooda said, “I do not know which report they are showing.” He said there is a court injunction against making it public.
“However, what is being shown on the TV, I will get it examined. Conjectures are being drawn without any base,” he said. He said the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued injunction twice, restraining release of the content of the report of the commission which probed alleged irregularities in grant of land licences to a firm owned by Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
Two weeks after the CBI questioned Hooda in connection with a case of alleged irregularities in land deals in Manesar, most of the state Congress legislators had on Tuesday come out in his defence asserting that no wrong had been done by him. They had charged the BJP governments at the Centre and in the state with misusing such agencies and unleashing “witch-hunt” and “political vendetta”.
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Meanwhile, senior Haryana Minister Anil Vij hit out at Hooda, saying “everyone knows that benefits were extended by his government to the royal son-in-law Vadra. The Congress party has been defending Robert Vadra from day one and terming him innocent. Vadra too has said that he has not done anything wrong, but everyone knows the facts”.
Replying to a question, the outspoken minister dismissed the charge that the BJP government was going soft on the alleged misdeeds of the previous Congress government despite making land deals a big issue during the Lok Sabha and state assembly polls campings.
Vij said, “We set up the Dhingra Commission because we wanted to bring out the misdeeds of the previous government to the fore..now there is an injunction in making the report public.” The commission had submitted its 182-page report to Khattar on August 31, 2016.
The contents of the report are yet to be made public by the state government which had given an undertaking in the Punjab and Haryana High Court not to release the report until directed by the court.
Hooda had petitioned the high court challenging the constitutional validity of the panel and had accused the government of resorting to political vendetta. It was during the hearing of Hooda’s petition that the state government had told the court that it would not make public the report.