The ruling BJP has been called out by one of its senior leaders, Uma Bharti, after controversial MLA Gopal Kanda offered it support to form the government in Haryana after it fell short of a majority. "I would like to request the party not to forget its moral foundation," the former union minister said in a series of tweets.
Gopal Kanda, 53, is accused of abetting the suicide in 2012 of Geetika Sharma, who was an employee in his aviation company. He was named in her suicide notes. He was jailed for a year before being released on bail.
"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," Uma Bharti tweeted.
"I request the BJP that it doesn't forget its moral foundations. We have a force like Narendra Modi... not just the country, but the whole world is with Modiji."
Uma Bharti said while she was all for the BJP taking power in Haryana, "one should ensure that those who are with us are as clean and spotless as BJP workers".
The BJP, late in the evening, announced that it will form the government in Haryana in alliance with Dushyant Chautala's Jannayak Janata Party or JJP; the party will not be taking support from Kanda.
Kanda was a minister in the Congress government of Bhupinder Singh Hooda when the suicide case exploded. He was forced to resign and evaded arrest for days.
At the time, the BJP had also held protests against the politician, demanding his arrest and his resignation.
The Congress today reminded the BJP of the fact and accused the party of double-speak. "Look at what Modi had said earlier; he was removed from our cabinet and now he is being made to look like a hero," party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
The Congress tweeted: "Once upon a time, the BJP took out rally against Gopal Kanda demanding his resignation and arrest. Now they are desperate to take his support in Haryana, he is accused of rape and murder. Where is Beti Bachao Beti Padao now? This is a disgrace... Is he purified by supporting BJP."