Gopal Kanda backs Manohar Lal Khattar: From rape, sodomy, abetting suicide to tax evasion, HLP chief faces multiple criminal cases

FP Staff

With the Haryana Assembly election throwing up a fractured mandate and a hung house sparking hectic political activity in the state, Gopal Kanda of the Haryana Lokhit Party (HLP) and a suspect in abetment to two suicide cases, is likely to extend his "unconditional support" to the BJP to form the government.

The MLA, on Thursday, boarded a chartered flight to Delhi for a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah.

Kanda also claimed to have the support of at least 5 Independent MLAs. The purpose of the meeting with the BJP leadership is to decide on the chances of helping the ruling party to retain power in the state.

"Haryana Lokhit Party supremo and Sirsa MLA Gopal Kanda along with five MLAs will support the BJP. These five MLAs are in touch with Gopal Kanda. They have left for Delhi ... They will offer unconditional support to the BJP," Gopal Kanda's brother Gobind told ANI.

"The year 2009 has repeated itself in 2019. Instead of Congress, it is the BJP today with the victory on 40 seats," he added.

Kanda had lost Assembly elections in 2014 but managed to bounce back this time with a victory from Sirsa seat by a thin margin of 602 votes.

He had entered the fray in the 2014 Assembly election with his own outfit €" the Haryana Lokhit Party. However, all the 75 candidates fielded by the party for the 90-member Assembly, including Kanda himself, lost the polls, The Print reported.

Follow LIVE updates on Haryana Government Formation here

An ascent from rags

Walking into the political arena, Kanda was first associated with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) when he decided to contest the Haryana election in 2009, NDTV reported.

When the INLD did not include him, he contested as an Independent candidate and won the election. He defeated INLD candidate Padam Jain by a margin of 6,521 votes and extended support to the Hooda-led Congress government that had come to power for the second time in the state. He received a cabinet berth.

Born in December 1965, Kanda dropped out of school before completing his secondary education. After dropping out, Kanda did all kinds of odd jobs, including repairing radios and running a music shop. Then he and his brother set up a small shoe factory.

In 1997, Kanda shifted to Gurgaon and started "sorting out" disputed properties.

From investing in real estate to starting his own airlines €" MDLR Airlines €" to running hotels and malls in Gurgaon and offshore casino in Goa, Kanda has been expanding his business in every arena. He also tried his hands in film producing and according to reports in 2015 he made a film titled Bhai Must Be Crazy starring Bipasha Basu, which failed to take off.

Criminal charges and controversies against him

Surrounded by multiple controversies throughout his public, Kanda has been accused of abetting the suicide of a young air hostess in 2012 who previously worked with MDLR Airlines. In her suicide note, the girl accused Kanda of "harassing and misusing her".

Kanda was arrested on charges of rape, abetment to suicide, criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation. Six months later, the mother of the girl also committed suicide. In her suicide note as well, she reportedly blamed Kanda and one of his aides since they were the ones her daughter had alleged to force her to take her own life.

He remained in jail for a year and a half and was granted bail in March 2014 after the charge of rape was dropped by the Delhi High Court.

Kanda continues to face trial in the air hostess suicide case, which is now in the evidence stage in a trial court.

Apart from this, Kanda along with his wife Saraswati Devi, have been accused of income tax evasion to the tune of Rs 40 crore in several cheating cases.

In his affidavit for the 2019 election, Kanda has declared his assets, both movable and immovable, worth Rs 65.5 crore. His wife assets, according to the affidavit, was a total of over Rs 30 crore.

With inputs from agencies

Also See: 'Winning elections does not absolve him of crimes': Uma Bharti fries Haryana BJP over support from Gopal Kanda

Haryana Assembly polls: Webcasting to be used to monitor critical, vulnerable polling stations in state, says chief electoral officer

Haryana Assembly election: JJP promises 75% job reservation for local youth, free education for girls till PhD level in poll manifesto

Read more on India by Firstpost.