File photo of Ex-Haryana Chief Minister BS Hooda. 

‘Political Vendetta,’ Says Former Haryana Chief Minister Hooda On CBI Raids

Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda called the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raids against him on Friday, 25 January a "political vendetta" to suppress his voice.

CBI teams raided his house in Rohtak and several other premises in Delhi and the National Capital Region in connection with alleged land irregularities during the Congress leader's tenure as chief minister.

“It’s nothing but political vendetta. They want to suppress my voice, in which they will not succeed,” he told reporters after the CBI officials left his home.

He said he “fully cooperated” with the officials, adding, “They found nothing.”

“They took a copy of an income tax return filed by my nephew a long time back,” he said. “Nothing was found against me,” he added.

"I am from a family of freedom fighters, even the British could not suppress us,” he said. He said that he would fight his battle himself.

"I know the legal process and have full faith in the judicial system," he said.

Lashing at Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, he said, "The CM gives statements against me without facts."

Hooda was to address a Congress rally in Jind on Friday in favour of Randeep Singh Surjewala, a senior party leaders who is contesting in the Jind assembly by-poll.

"I will not be able to attend the rally now," he said, adding he is confident that the party will win.

The Jind by-poll on Monday follows the death of Indian National Lok Dal MLA Hari Chand Middha. It is also the first election for the Jannayak Janta Party, formed after a split in the INLD.

Congress Trains Guns at BJP

Congress MLA Kuldeep Sharma lambasted the BJP government and said that the move was intended to stop the senior Congress leader from attending a poll rally to be held on Friday in the run-up to the Jind bypoll.

“The Jind by-election is going to take place and today, a poll rally was organised. It (CBI raid) was to happen and it was carried out with an intention of political ill will in order to influence the by-election.”
Kuldeep Sharma said while talking to reporters in Rohtak

Senior spokesperson of the Congress Anand Sharma said such actions when the prime minister and the ruling dispensation "target its political opponents by using agencies against them are dangerous for democracy in our country".

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a mindset of targeting his political opponents by defaming them with the objective of muzzling the voice of the opposition and to tarnish the image of their tall leaders.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the action today in the form of raids on former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda with the sole purpose of defaming him.”
Anand Sharma, Congress Spokesperson

Sharma also said the "ill-will" in the mind of the prime minister and BJP chief Amit Shah is clear and the timing is also very clear.

"They are converting India into a police state," he alleged, adding that the prime minister has used probe agencies to target former chief ministers be it in Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh.

The senior Congress leader said democracies do not function like that and only fascist governments take such actions.

"We are warning all concerned not to exceed their brief or act above the law. All officials must hear this that governments do not have permanency and they keep changing....They will be held accountable and they will have to answer once the government changes," he said.

"It is certain that this government is rattled and prime minister is facing an imminent defeat and that is why such actions," the Congress leader said.