Former Union minister Uma Bharti on Friday called out the Bharatiya Janata Party for taking support from Haryana Lokhit Party leader Gopal Kanda to form the government in Haryana, where it fell short of the majority by six seats. Kanda has been accused of abetting the suicide of Geetika Sharma, an air hostess who was an employee in his aviation company, and her mother.

“If Gopal Kanda is the same man due to whom a girl committed suicide and later her mother too, then, we must, for the sake of morality and ethics, not take his support to form a government in Haryana,” Bharti said in a series of tweets. “The case is still in court and he is out on bail, winning elections cannot be seen as a validation of his legal or moral position.”

“When we have someone as powerful as Narendra Modi, we must refrain from taking people like Kanda with us,” she added. “We in the BJP believe in a moral life, and one should ensure that those who are with us are as clean and spotless as BJP workers”. Bharti, who is currently in the Himalayas on the banks of Ganga river, requested the party to not forget their principles.

Addressing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home minister Amit Shah, Bharti reminisced about the past and said she was happy the BJP had emerged the single largest party in Haryana, after having seen days where it could not even win more than two seats.

The Bharatiya Janata Party won 40 seats in the Haryana Assembly, whose majority is 46. The Congress came second with 31 seats, and the Jannayak Janta Party – which contested its first election – won 10. Kanda, won the Sirsa seat. Earlier in the day, he said that he and other Independent MLAs have decided to unconditionally support the BJP.

Kanda was a minister in the Congress government in 2012 when the police charged him with abetment to the suicide of Geetika Sharma. He was forced to resign after an uproar. The BJP had also in the past protested against Kanda.

The Congress criticised the decision and accused the party of double-speak. “I think you should look at the statements made by [Prime Minister] Narendra Modi and [BJP chief] Amit Shah at the time when Gopal Kanda was a minister in the [Congress] government in Haryana, when we forced him to resign after registration of a case and also removed him from ministership,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

BJP General Secretary Anil Jain said the party was aware of the matter and will take a call on this.

Several social media users also lashed out at the ruling party.

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