After a weekend of intrigue in Haryana – where a win for the BJP candidates in the Rajya Sabha polls was attributed to wrong ink by the Congress – several conspiracy theories are now doing the rounds in the Capital. One of these comes from Dushyant Chautala, lawmaker from INLD, which along with the Congress, was backing independent candidate RK Anand for a Rajya Sabha seat.
Mr Chautala told NDTV that Mr Anand’s loss may stem from an understanding between the current BJP government in Haryana and the former chief minister of Congress Bhupinder Singh Hooda over the probe into Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s land deals.
The Manohar Lal Khattar government started a probe into the land deals by the Justice Dhingra Commission, but the INLD alleges that the probe report will do no harm to the former chief minister, since it was illegally set up in the first place. “The Justice Dhingra Commission was set up in violation of the Inquiries Commission Act,” said Dushyant Chautala. The act, he said, demands that it must be set up with the cabinet or assembly’s backing, which was not done when it was set up in May, 2015. “Even if Justice Dhingra indicts anyone, they can easily go to court and vacate it,” he told NDTV.
NDTV studied the documents which show that the commission was set up through a letter dated May 13, signed by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The gazette notification for this was published a day later, but it curiously asked for a probe only into licenses given to development of “Sector 83 of Gurgaon”.
“There are no land deals in Sector 83, and so this had to be amended which is another loophole,” alleged Mr Chautala.
The paper trail, accessed by NDTV, showed that Haryana government, advised by its law officers, later substituted “Sector 83” with the names of the specific places where violations had occurred.
Justice Dhingra told NDTV he was focused on his probe and couldn’t comment on its validity. “It will be ready in 20 days and then the court can decide what to do,” he told NDTV.
When Justice Dhingra had summoned the former chief minister to appear before him, Mr Hooda had declined. His party called the INLD allegations baseless. “It (Justice Dhingra Commission) was an illegally set up inquiry,” said spokesperson PL Punia, “But it has no link to what happened in Rajya Sabha polls.”
The BJP, too, brushed off the INLD allegations. “They lost the Rajya Sabha polls and so are trying to distract with these allegations,” said Chief Minister Khattar.