The rift between the Congress and Sirsa legislator Gopal Kanda appears to be widening with his brother stating that they will launch their own party on April 13. Kanda had contested as an independent candidate in the 2009 Assembly polls but later joined the Congress at the insistence of a former Congress leader. He faces charges of allegedly abetting the suicide of his former employee Geetika Sharma. He is out on bail.
On Sunday, Kanda and his brother, Gobind Kanda, were absent during Haryana CM Bhupender Singh Hooda’s road show in Sirsa. Hooda is holding a series of public meetings here in support of Congress candidate Ashok Tanwar who is contesting from the Sirsa parliamentary constituency.
Sources said Gopal Kanda, who had been attending social gatherings in Sirsa till Saturday evening, left for Gurgaon and deliberately gave Hooda’s road show a miss. Gobind Kanda, on the other hand, stayed away from the event despite being in Sirsa. The Kanda brothers are considered to be strong leaders in the constituency and had shown their mettle in the previous assembly polls.
“We are not supporting Congress in these Lok Sabha polls. In fact, as on date we are not supporting any political party. We will be constituting our new political party and will formally announce it on April 13, the eve of Baisakhi,” Gobind Kanda told The Indian Express.
There is speculations in political circles that Kanda may offer support to the Haryana Janhit Congress and may hold a meeting with HJC leaders on April 2.
Sirsa is considered to be the stronghold of the Chautala clan. Of the nine Assembly seats here, four are held by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) while the Congress represents two. One seat is held by a Shiromani Akali Dal legislator, who supports the INLD, while the remaining two were bagged by Independents, one of whom is Gopal Kanda.
The sitting MP however is Congress nominee Ashok Tanwar but he faces severe anti-incumbency here. In February, during a road show, Tanwar, the state Congress president, was shown black flags while members of various political organisations, teachers’ unions have protested against him.
The situation turned embarrassing for Tanwar when some traders closed their shops and instead waved black flags at him.
Haryana Janhit Congress candidate Sushil Indora and INLD candidate Charanjit Singh, who is a sitting MLA from Kalanwali reserved assembly constituency are likely to give a tough contest to Tanwar in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.