Gopal Kanda, the controversial Haryana MLA is back in the headlines after he won the Haryana election and almost turned kingmaker, promising to back the BJP to form a government in the state. The BJP did not take Kanda's support and is forming government in alliance with Dushyant Chautala's Jannayak Janata Party or JJP.
Gopal Kanda, 53, faces trial in the suicide of Geetika Sharma, a former air hostess with his now-defunct airline - MDLR - seven years ago. The girl's mother had also committed suicide later.
The brother of the airhostess has hit out at the powerful businessman-politician, slamming the BJP.
"Are we really asking for support to make government from criminals? I have lost my sister and mother seven years back. That suffering is still continuing. What kind of a nation are we? We're asking hooligans to come forward and support some or the other party to make a government?" " Geetika Sharma's brother Ankit Sharma told NDTV on the phone.
"What about the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' slogan in Haryana? We are giving the responsibility of women to a hooligan, to somebody who pushed somebody to kill themselves. Are we for real in this?" he added.
Gopal Kanda had resigned as a minister in then Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's cabinet after he was accused of abetting the suicide of Geetika Sharma, 23, who worked for his aviation company in 2012.
"Please do not ask for support from people who are involved in criminal activity. It demotivates the victim's family. Where do we go to find justice if people like Gopal Kanda are into running constituencies?" the brother said.
In 2012, Mr Kanda, who was a minister in was arrested after Geetika Sharma left suicide notes accusing him of harassment. At the time, the BJP held protests against him, demanding his resignation as minister and his arrest. Geetika's mother also committed suicide later.
Today, the Congress reminded the BJP its stand seven years ago. "Look at what Modi had said earlier; he was removed from our cabinet and now he is being made to look like a hero," Congress president Sonia Gandhi reportedly said in a meeting.
BJP leader and former union minister Uma Bharti has called out her party over Kanda. "If Kanda is the same person who was the cause of a girl's suicide, the suicide of her mother and faces trial...whether he is innocent or guilty, the law will decide. But his winning an election does not absolve him. There are many factors in an election victory," Ms Bharti tweeted.
Gopal Kanda was charged with rape, abetment to suicide, criminal conspiracy and criminal intimidation and jailed in the case for a year. The rape charges were dropped in 2014. He was released on bail. The same year, he contested the Haryana polls and lost.
Kanda, who won from the Sirsa assembly seat by a margin of 602 votes in this election, met with BJP working president JP Nadda till late on Thursday in Delhi. "We will support the BJP unconditionally. My father was in the RSS, so we are part of the family. We have all agreed to support the BJP," he said today.