Firm that sold land to Robert Vadra launched by Gopal Kanda’s brother

Gopal Kanda is in jail in Delhi on charges of abetment in the Geetika Sharma suicide case.

Written by Varinder Bhatia | Chandigarh | Published: August 14, 2013 2:34 am

Onkareshwar Properties Private Limited,the company that sold land in village Shikohpur in Haryana to Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s company M/s Sky Light Hospitality Private Limited,has a record of links with politicians.

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In fact,it was first owned by Govind (Kumar) Kanda. He is a member of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee and brother of Congress legislator Gopal Kanda who is in jail in Delhi on charges of abetment in the Geetika Sharma suicide case.

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Records with The Indian Express show that M/s Onkareshwar Properties Pvt. Ltd was constituted as a company on September 28,2004 with two directors: Govind Kanda,a resident of Sirsa,and Pradeep Kumar,a resident of Gurgaon. Both owned 5,000 equity shares in the company which was registered in New Delhi.

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When contacted,Govind (Kumar) Kanda said: “I do not have much knowledge about this company since all such affairs in Gurgaon were being managed by my brother Gopal Kanda. He used to put my name on the papers. It is accurate that I was a director of this company at one point of time but I don’t recall to whom we sold this company. I will have to check with him”.

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From 2007 to 2011,among the directors of the company was Noida resident Sandeep Dahiya,who is a relative of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s wife Asha Hooda. Dahiya resigned in March 2011 and was selected in the state civil services in Haryana as a Haryana Civil Services (HCS) officer. Another close aide of Hooda,Sushil Gupta,a resident of Rohtak,was director from 2010 to 2012.

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Dahiya was unavailable for comment but when contacted,Gupta said he was Hooda’s “childhood friend.”

“We both are residents of Model Town,Rohtak. We used to play together and studied in the same college. Even today,we are very good friends. Then I moved to another college. After my graduation,I joined Haryana breweries in Delhi and later started my construction business. For many years,I have been in the real estate business. I am also a very good friend with Satyanand Yajee. He is in the same business and also a close friend of Hooda ji. I became Director of Onkareshwar for a few months because Satyanand wanted me to be a Director in the company,then I resigned. Now I am in the property-dealing business in Rohtak”.

Yajee and his wife Godavari Yajee were directors when Onkareshwar Properties entered into a transaction with Vadra’s company and sold 3.5 acres in Shikhopur.

Satyanand Yajee did not respond to repeated phone calls,despite various attempts.

Incidentally,Satyanand Yajee’s father Sheel Bhadra Yajee and Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s father Ranbir Hooda both ran the All India Freedom Fighters’ Organisation. AIFFO was first headed by Sheel Bhadra Yajee and subsequently by Ranbir Hooda. The families of both Satyanand Yajee and Bhupinder Singh Hooda are known to be close. Satyanand Yajee was also former General Secretary of the AIFFO. Both Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Satyanand Yajee are founder-members of AIFFO’s sister body All India Freedom Fighters’ Successors’ Organisation (AIFFSO).

Records with The Indian Express show that the Haryana government proposed to construct a memorial in memory of Ranbir Singh Hooda at Rohtak in July,2009. The memorial was first ordered to be constructed by the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC). However,that order was subsequently amended and the government ruled that instead of HSIIDC,AIFFO “may be asked to construct the memorial.

The state government also decided to give land to AIFFO for construction of the memorial at concessional rates of Rs 50 lakh per acre.

When asked about his proximity to directors of Onkareshwar,Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said: “This is my fourth generation in public life. I come across many people,out of which many are my friends. I have known Satyanand Yajee for many years. His father was a great freedom fighter. If he is doing any business,what’s wrong with that? If there is anything wrong in his business,the department concerned shall see into it.”

He added: “As far as Haryana government is concerned,we have not favoured anybody. Our policies are extremely transparent and we have been working on merit for all these years. If Gopal Kanda or his brother floated a company in 2004,at that time they were not with Congress,they were with Chautalas. The Haryana government is responsible to look into the documents,stamp duty,other relevant fees and mandatory formalities that we had been doing for all these years. The Department of Town and Country Planning works in an extremely transparent manner and uploads everything on their website”.

As per latest records with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs,Onkareshwar’s paid-up capital on September 30,2011 was Rs 25 lakh and 98 per cent was owned by Satyanand Yajee and the balance two per cent by Godavari Yajee. According to the company’s balance sheets,the company showed Rs 53 crore as investments at the end of financial year 2008. During the same period,its fixed assets increased from Rs 12.11 lakh to Rs 17.76 crore. The company’s short-term loans reached a level of Rs 106 crore by the end of financial year 2010 and by the end of financial year 2011,the company’s reserves increased to Rs 135.55 crore.

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