On Thursday, addressing the media, Gopal Goyal Kanda, who was flown to Delhi by a BJP MP, said: “Under PM Narendra Modi's leadership, Haryana will see development. All Independent MLAs have decided to give their unconditional support to the BJP.” A social media viral photo showed, in a flight allegedly to Delhi, a picture of Kanda with 5 MLAs; allegedly enroute to meet Amit Shah.
Who is Gopal Kanda?
Gopal Kanda, former Haryana minister, businessman, suspect in abetment in two cases of suicide, cases still running; is going to be contesting from Sirsa, post his abysmal 2014 run. Kanda was the muscle power supporter of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) front-runner Ajay Chautala, but the affiliation eventually curdled.
In 2009, he contested as an independent candidate and won against INLD, after INLD refused to field him. He allied with the Hooda-led Congress government that had come to power for the second time in the state. He was rewarded with a cabinet berth. However, he was made to resign after he was accused of rape and abetment to suicide.
An airhostess from Kanda’s airline accused him of sexual harassment in her suicide note in August 2012.
Refuting all allegations, Kanda was underground post this incident for almost ten days before he gave in, surrendering himself. He was under arrest on counts of rape, abetment to suicide, criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation. Thereupon, he resigned from Hooda’s cabinet, according to The Print.
The woman’s mother also committed suicide in 2013, blaming Kanda and his aides in her suicide note.
Kanda stayed in prison for 1.5 years and was bailed out in March 2014, after Section 375 was dropped by Delhi HC. However, the trial for this case is still continuing, and is now in evidence stage. Delhi Police very recently in this March filed a cancellation report in the mother’s case but HC rejected the cancellation and called for an action against the investigation officer.
BJP then, hit the streets demanding Kanda’s arrest; ironic because BJP now accepts Kanda’s support gladly.
Kanda and his wife are also have accused of tax evasion worth upto ₹40 crore. Kanda’s supporters and employees allegedly attacked the income tax officers conducting a raid in his premises, in 2008. All charges against the Kandas were dropped in this case in 2012.
Kanda and his security men physically assaulted cricketer Atul Wassan for overtaking their car. The case was settled after Kanda rendered an apology to the cricketer. In September 2018, Kanda was booked by the Delhi Economic Offences Wing in a cheating case with respect to one of the many businesses Kanda has been linked to. The case is still being investigated, according to The Print.
Kanda also has bouncing of cheques as one of his offences, with respect to which he has 5 cases.
Assets and Businesses
His total assets are stated as ₹95 crore in his election affidavits, as per Business Insider. Described as a Mughal-fort-like huge house Kanda has spent a lot of money on his house, as well as a hospital he has credited to a godman, Tara Baba. He started to rejuvenate his casino business in Goa, one of the very few to have a license on a floating vessel. He also launched an offshore casino in May which is called “Big Daddy”. International poker star Dan Bilzerian is also said to have attended it.
In 2009, MDLR shut down operations. “Kanda was staring at a major downfall and that prompted him to join politics,” a former aide of the Chautalas said.
Gopal Kanda has contested and won from his home constituency of Sirsa, which he had won in 2009 but lost in 2014.