Fearing backlash, BJP not to seek Gopal Kanda’s support

Former Haryana minister Gopal Goyal Kanda. PTI file photo

Amid widespread outrage, the BJP on Saturday took a U-turn on the question of Gopal Kanda, announcing it was not seeking his support to form the government. 

Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was in Chandigarh on Saturday to oversee BJP’s government formation, said, “I want to make it clear that the BJP is not seeking the support from MLA Gopal Kanda.”

A newly-elected MLA from Sirsa, Gopal Kanda is facing trial in the case of abetting the suicide of air-hostess Geetika Sharma in 2012. Leaders within the BJP like Uma Bharti, the Congress, Geetika’s brother Ankit Sharma and others had reacted strongly to BJP’s attempt to seek Kanda’s support.

Kanda, was reportedly trying to help the party gain the support of Independents to form the government in Haryana. Photographs of a sitting BJP MP, along with other leaders in a private plane with Kanda, enroute to New Delhi had surfaced online. Sensing a huge backlash, the BJP now has preferred to keep Kanda at bay.

Kanda had been a minister in the second term of former CM B S Hooda in 2009. He was axed after his involvement in the suicide of Geetika Sharma. The 23-year old former employee of MDLR airlines, owned by Kanda, left behind a suicide note, which accused Kanda of being a ‘fraud, cheater who harassed her’.

Seeking Kanda’s support could have been counter-productive for the BJP, given that BJP leaders had protested against Kanda when the controversy erupted.

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