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Hooda Asks INLD to Apologise, Threatens to File Defamation Case

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today sought a public apology from INLD for levelling "false" allegations against him in its 'chargesheet' and said he will file a defamation suit against the main opposition party if it fails to apologise.

INLD yesterday submitted a 140-page "chargesheet" to Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki, accusing the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government of being involved in scams worth Rs 8-10 lakh crore.

"They have levelled false allegations against me and must forthwith tender public apology or face a defamation suit," Hooda told reporters here on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting.

The Chief Minister described the "chargesheet" as a "bundle of lies".

"I will file a case of defamation against them if they do not tender a public apology," he said.

Without naming anyone, Hooda said it was ironical that the party whose top leaders were behind the bars was levelling "baseless" charges against him and his government.

Asked how much time he will give INLD before filing the suit, Hooda said, "I have decided that first I will serve notice on them and if they do not offer a public apology, then I will then file a defamation suit."

He said he will serve notice on INLD after seeking legal opinion.

On senior leader Birender Singh snapping his 42-year-old association with Congress and joining BJP and some other leaders of the ruling outfit, including former MP Arvind Sharma, too deserting the party ahead of Assembly polls, Hooda said the developments will not affect Congress as the party is in a strong position in the state, which goes to polls in October.

In an apparent attack on Singh, Hooda said those who did not manage to win assembly election on the party ticket when a Congress wave had swept the state, how will they be able to secure their position in BJP.

Birender Singh had lost to INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala from Uchana Kalan segment in the 2009 Assembly polls in which Congress came to power in Haryana for second time in a row.

Hooda claimed the aim of leaders who have deserted their parties is to seek ticket for elections as they are desperate after having "lost their political ground and are trying to regain it by joining other parties." 

Asked about the Congress rally at Panipat on August 24, Hooda said, "It is going to be a big rally. At the rally, I will present the report card of my nine-and-a-half-year tenure and will also unfold my government's vision for the future."

The rally will also be attended by Congress General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed, who is incharge of the party affairs in Haryana.

When asked about reports that some sitting Congress MLAs could not apply for party ticket for the upcoming Assembly polls, Hooda said such leaders could apply with the AICC.

More than 1,200 leaders applied for Congress tickets for the 90-member Haryana Assembly.

PLACES: Haryana
SECTION: National
OUTLOOK 17 August, 2014
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