Closeness to Hooda hit Venod Sharma: Rao Inderjeet

Gurgaon, March 9: Former union minister Venod Sharma, who quit the Congress, was not allowed into the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) as he was close to Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and was allegedly involved in land deals, Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjeet Singh said Sunday.

Sharma, the incumbent from Ambala city assembly constituency, quit the Congress Wednesday but did not reveal the reason behind the decision. He was union minister of state for food and civil supplies in 1995.

“Sharma was closest to Hooda for more than nine years. His public image was of a decision taker in almost all land deals in the state during almost a decade,” Rao Inderjeet told media at BJP’s national trader conclave that ended here Sunday.

The Gurgaon parliamentarian recently joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after quitting the Congress after 36 years.

Sharma was inducted in the Hooda government in 2003 but was forced to quit a year later after his son, Manu Sharma, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison by a court for the murder of model Jessica Lal.

“Sharma can distance himself from Hooda by quitting the Congress, but he cannot hide the public image he created in 10 years,” Rao Inderjeet said.

The HJC is headed by former Haryana chief minister Bhajan Lal’s son Kuldeep Bishnoi, also a parliamentarian from Hisar.

IANS