Claiming the Congress leadership had ignored issues raised by him, Lok Sabha MP from Gurgoan Rao Inderjit Singh has trained his guns on Robert Vadra and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Anita Katyal reports.
A day after he created a stir by hitting out at Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the Haryana government over the Robert Vadra issue, party Lok Sabha MP from Gurgoan Rao Inderjit Singh is unrepentant.
Singh said on Tuesday that he stood by his statement demanding a thorough probe into all land deals in Haryana, including those undertaken by Robert Vadra. He said it is now for the party to a take a view on initiating disciplianry action against him.
“I have not been spoken to by anybody in the party...nobody has got in touch with me,” Singh told rediff.com, adding that as far as the question of his expulsion is concerned, “it is for the party to take a call.”
On a warpath for several months now, Singh has raised a banner of revolt against Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda by floating a parallel outfit by the name of Insaf Manch. Although it is said to be a social platform, the rebel Congress leader does not deny that it could convert into a political party in the future. “Where it goes from here who knows,” he said. He claimed he enjoyed immense support from both within and outside the Congress.
Congress insiders maintain that Singh has been unhappy ever since he was overlooked for a Cabinet berth. He has raised the pitch deliberately in the hope that it will provoke the party leadership to expel him.
Using the Vadra issue to sharpen his attack against his bete noire Hooda, Singh said contrary to the perception that he was targetting anybody, he was the one who has been pushed around.
“I am the one who has been targetted and literally pushed into leaving the party,” Singh said, adding that he had been raising the issue of Haryana government’s land deals for several months now. He said nobody is willing to listen as the “grievance redressal in the party” is virtually non-existent.
“Moreover, Hooda appears to have enormous influence with the Congress leadership in Delhi ... I don’t know why this is so. It is for the people to judge,” Singh remarked but refused to elaborate. Singh, however, did comment on the coincidence that the Vadra issue crops up whenever Hooda is in the dock.
The Haryana chief minister has been under fire from his party colleagues who have upped the ante against him. Former Haryana minsiter and Rajya Sabha MP Birender Singh, also a Hooda baiter, has planned a public rally in Haryana on August 20 (Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversay) as a show of strength. He has invited Congress president Sonia Gandhi to address the meeting. Hooda will be dealt a severe snub if she accepts the invitation.
The timing of the Vadra revelations has, therefore, raised a lot of questions in Congress circles.
Stating that he has not targetted Robert Vadra specifically, Singh said he is demanding a probe into the manner in which the use of 21,000 acres of land in Gurgoan alone had been changed to benefit builders and developers.
“Haryana Congress has become a private limited company,” he said angrily, adding that Congress men and women who had built the party in the state are being ignored while outsiders and defectors are running the show today. He hoped the party will reform now as there is a lot upheaval in Haryana Congress.
The MP’s statement comes in the wake of IAS officer Ashok Khemka alleging that Ropbert Vadra had falsified documents for a 3.53 acre plot and made huge profits by selling it off on a commercial licence. He said he had repeatedly said that the use of large tracts of land in Haryana had been changed to benefit certain influential persons and this issue needs to be probed.
“Builders and developers have cropped up in Gurgoan but nothing is being done to meet the housing demands of the common man,” he remarked. Hitting out at Hooda, Singh charged that the “whole Haryana government is working to favour developers.”
Regretting that the issues flagged by him had been ignored by the Congress leadership, Singh said he is not worried at being branded a dissident. “If there is a perception that I have become a dissident because I am speaking about Haryana not being run properly, then the perception is correct,” he said.
As for the Insaf Manch launched by him, Singh said it is now a “part and parcel of his life” whether he stays in the Congress or is pushed out. Stating that the platform has become a movement for all those who are disillusioned with the establishment and are looking for a change.