Chandigarh, Apr 6 (PTI) Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today claimed that he was a victim of “political vendetta” and maintained that he had done no wrong, after the CBI registered a case of criminal conspiracy and cheating against him.
The CBI has registered a case of against Hooda and Associated Journals Ltd (AJL), which runs National Herald, for alleged irregularities in the land allotted to the newspaper.
“I have said this earlier too that political vendetta is being unleashed against me. This is vendetta and witch-hunt. Nothing wrong has been done during my tenure (as CM) and in this case too, the rules were followed,” the two-time former Chief Minister said over phone when asked to comment on the CBI lodging FIR against him.
AJL is reportedly controlled by senior Congress leaders including the Gandhi family through Young India Limited. AJL founded by Jawaharlal Nehru runs National Herald newspaper.
The CBI has taken over the FIR registered by State Vigilance Bureau of Haryana related to charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption against the then Chairman HUDA (the then Chief Minister Hooda), then Chief Administrator, HUDA, the then administrator, Financial Commissioner, Town and Country Planning department, AJL and others.
The complaint from Haryana Government, which is now part of the CBI FIR, alleged that AJL was allotted a plot in Panchkula in 1982 on which no construction took place till 1992 prompting the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to resume the plot.
The FIR alleged that the then Chief Minister Hooda as Chairman HUDA abused his position, contravened the policies and went against the advice rendered by the official to re-advertise the plot and re-alloted it to AJL at original rates plus interest on August 28, 2005.
Hooda, however, claimed that the plot was not given at original rates and the interest amounting to several lakh rupees was paid by the AJL.
Last year, CBI had carried out searches at 20 locations including the residences of Hooda in a case of alleged irregularities in acquisition of land in Gurugram in which farmers were allegedly cheated to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore.
Hooda had then termed the CBI searches at his residences as “political vendetta” unleashed by the BJP government.
The former CM had also dubbed the institution of a Commission of Inquiry, which probed grant of land licences to some companies, including that of Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Gurugram, as “politically motivated” and an act of “political vendetta”.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.