M A I N   N E W S

Haryana Lokayukta to look into CD scandal
Naveen S Garewal/TNS

Chandigarh, September 9
The Haryana Government today decided to refer the alleged CLU-for-cash scam involving seven Congress MLAs to the state Lokayukta. The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) had last week released CDs containing purported clippings of Congress leaders allegedly seeking bribe for facilitating change of land use (CLU).

The treasury benches spent most of the time listening to clarifications given by those named in the CDs in the second sitting of the monsoon session today. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda later announced that the matter was being referred to the Lokayukta.

Eight Congress men - five MLAs, two legislators’ sons and a state Youth Congress former president - were allegedly taped in a sting operation demanding money for getting CLUs.

The Speaker was forced to expel INLD legislators from the House after they repeatedly disrupted its functioning. The Opposition today protested outside the House by holding a sit-in and a mock session.

The seven MLAs gave their clarification on the floor of the House, lambasting the Chautalas for bringing out “doctored” CDs. Sensing the mood of the House, the Chief Minister announced “zero tolerance” towards corruption and said the government would send a term of reference to the Haryana Lokayukta (Justice Pritam Pal) to verify if cash had been exchanged as alleged in the CDs and if any land referred to in the CDs had received a CLU.

Hooda earlier said the intention of the INLD was suspect as it neither lodged an FIR nor raised the matter with the Lokayukta.

The release of CDs hours before the Assembly session was an attempt by the INLD to divert the attention away from Chautalas’ alleged wrongdoing. He said the matter was to be debated in the House after an attention motion was called to discuss the misuse of government properties by the Chautalas under the garb of trusts run by the family. A Vidhan Sabha committee formed to examine irregularities in trusts run by the Chautalas had tabled its report on September 6. The report is to be discussed in the current session.

He said the government had a set procedure and anyone who fulfilled the criteria could get a CLU free of cost. It was baseless to allege that money had changed hands for grant of CLUs.

Earlier, the seven MLAs - Ram Kishan Fauji, Vinod Bhayana, Naresh Selwal, Jarnail Singh, Ram Niwas Ghorela, Sampat Singh and Jaleb Khan - who were either alleged to be involved directly or through their kin, made statements on the floor of the House claiming innocence and offering to quit politics forever if any “wrongdoing” on their part was proved by any agency.

All those named in the CDs are legislators from segments that fall under the Hisar parliamentary constituency.

In his defence, Fauji said: “A CD was made on my birthday on April 28, 2011. This seems to have been doctored now.”

While Sampat Singh, a former INLD legislator, blasted the Chautalas and narrated several incidents of their “wrongdoing”, the others claimed the objective of the campaign was not only to defame the Congress but also to target legislators from Hisar, where they hoped to garner votes.





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