New Delhi: CBI filed a fresh case against former chief minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Friday and raided his residence along with that of former officials in connection with alleged irregularities in the acquisition of land in Haryana when he was holding the top post.
The investigating agency conducted raids at more than 20 places including Chandigarh, Rohtak, New Delhi, Gurugram and Mohali.
Reacting to the development, Hooda said: “The CBI case against me is a result of political vendetta. I will fight this battle myself. I have complete faith in the judiciary. No one can silence my voice.”
Echoing similar sentiments, his son and MP Deepender said, “From the last five year this government is working with a vendetta. They are targeting us. They are trying to suppress the voice of popular opposition leaders. They tried everything for the last five years but could not find anything. We are not worried and will continue to fight them strongly.”
Hooda has been charged under various sections of the IPC in connection with cases of land acquisition between 2009 and 2012. IAS officer TC Gupta, the then Chief Administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the then Director of Urban Estate, Town and Country Planning, Haryana and other officials including 15 private individuals have also been charged under the same sections.
Opposition parties too did not leave any stone unturned in slamming the Central government.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee took to Twitter, criticising the BJP for using “Government agencies as allies.”
“So political vendetta continues. BJP and its ‘allies’ comprising multiple Government agencies harassing all allies of Oppn from Kolkata to Delhi and beyond. From @yadavakhilesh to Behen Mayawati Ji, nobody is spared. From north to south. From east to west. Political vendetta by BJP. Are they scared? Are they desperate ?” Mamata tweeted.
“One headless agency has now become spineless BJP!” she added without taking the name of any particular probe agency.
Mamata’s views were also endorsed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who also levied strong charges on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and blamed him “for fighting a political battle through probe agencies.”
Kejriwal tweeted, “Modi ji is fighting political battles thro enforcement agencies. From Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati in UP to Mamata Banerjee in Bengal n AAP in Delhi Modi-Shah duo has spared no political opponent.”
Former deputy chief minister and leader of opposition in Bihar assembly, Tejashwi Yadav also criticised the BJP for allegedly misusing CBI and said, “The CBI has become BBI (BJP Bureau of Investigation). Whoever joins hands with the BJP gets clean-chit and becomes Raja Harish Chandra and those who criticise them are hounded by agencies. Even my father was not spared, because he is a critic of the RSS and BJP led Central Government.”
Going a step further, Congress leader Anand Sharma also issued a veiled warning to government officials by insinuating that those working at the behest of their “political masters” would be held accountable in the next government.
He said, “Officials must hear this. Governments do not have any permanency. There are few weeks left for the general elections to begin. It is certain that this government is rattled, the Prime Minister is staring at an imminent defeat, that’s why these actions.”
“When the new government resumes office, all such actions which have been at the behest of the political masters of today to harass, intimidate, frame and defame, even the charges, they will be held to account and they will have to answer,” Sharma said while addressing a press conference.
He added, “We realise the timing and intent behind this action. People will also see through it. Today is the last working day before Jind by-elections. Today former CM Hooda was scheduled to address a rally there in support of Congress candidate Randeep Surjewala. We demand the government to reveal what new facts have come to light which led to these raids.”