CBI raids former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s home

Chandigarh: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday conducted searches at the residence of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and several of his associates in Rohtak in connection with a case of land grab in Gurgaon, now known as Gurugram.
The raid comes just days after the Justice Dhingra Committee, set up to probe the irregularities, submitted its report on the land grab case to current Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. It may be noted that one of the chief accused in the case is Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and Saturday’s raid raises the question if he could be next on the CBI’s crosshairs.

Congress leaders including Bhupinder Singh Hooda sit on an indefinite fast to press for social harmony in Haryana, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Feb. 21, 2016.

The commission had been set up to investigate allegations that laws were flouted at the time of granting land licences to certain firms. The licences were granted by the then Congress government led by Hooda for the development of commercial complexes, housing colonies and other colonies in at least four villages in Gurgaon. These villages included Khekri Daula, Sikanderpur Bada, Sihi and Shikohpur.
A CBI official said on Saturday: “Searches are being carried out at 20 places in Rohtak, Gurgaon, Chandigarh and Delhi. The premises of Hooda, his two former personal secretaries and a serving Indian Administrative Service official are being searched by different teams. Some private companies are also under scanner.”
“The Haryana government led by Hooda had issued a notification under the Land Acquisition Act for acquisition of land measuring about 912 acres for setting up of an Industrial Model Township in these villages,” the official told the Hindu.
If Vadra or his associates are raided next, it could be a huge blow for the Congress, which is already reeling under continuous electoral losses in various states. The raid, if it happens, could also be used by the BJP and its allies to silence the Congress in Parliament any time the main Opposition party tries to raise an issue in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha.
Since such raids are conducted by maintaining an element of surprise, no prior confirmation of it can be made.