A day after BJP chief Amit Shah alleged that lawlessness was rampant in Haryana during Om Prakash Chautala’s rule, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) Monday reminded him that it ruled the state then in alliance with the saffron party.
“If Chaudhary Om Prakash Chautala’s rule had spread lawlessness in the state, then the BJP too was equally responsible for it. During the 1999 Lok Sabha polls, the INLD and the BJP were alliance partners and had also contested the 2000 Vidhan Sabha polls in alliance and came to power,” INLD leader Abhay Singh Chautala said.
Addressing a poll rally in Sonipat Sunday, Shah had alleged that for years power in Haryana was concentrated among the Hoodas and the Chautalas. “When Hooda came to power, corruption increased. When Chautala was there, hooliganism increased,” the BJP chief had said.
Abhay said the BJP was in alliance with Bansi Lal’s Haryana Vikas Party during the 1996 Vidhan Sabha polls and was also in the government formed by the late leader. “For the sheer magnitude of crime and lawlessness, that period between 1996 and 1998 is the darkest chapter in Haryana’s history. Under the combined leadership of HVP and BJP, young students had abandoned schools for the more lucrative but infinitely more destructive business of bootlegging. In fact, under their guidance and patronage, bootlegging became a household industry in the state and the writ of criminals ruled the state”.
Abhay said that before making “scandalous statements, Amit Shah should have consulted his party leaders in the state since some of them were the beneficiaries of the mafia rule between 1996 and 1999”. “It was only when the outcry against this rule of the mafia reached a crescendo that the then BJP leaders approached Chaudhary Om Prakash Chautala to pull the state out of that quagmire by forming a government with BJP support. He duly obliged them for the sake of Haryana and restored law and order,” Abhay said, adding that since Chautala was “aware about the complicity of the BJP leaders of the State in the events of 1999-1999, he had called for a mid-term poll in 2000”.
Continuing with his attack on BJP chief, Abhay said, “Perhaps Shah, a new entrant to national scene, does not know that Aravali ranges are largely covered under the forests and are vital to the environment of this region. But unmindful of this, the Manohar Lal Khattar government has planned to exclude these forest lands from the definition of forests to hand them over to builders and property dealers. These two examples alone place the corruption of BJP on the same scale on which the earlier chief minister Hooda stood”.