Gopal Goyal Kanda, the man who saw several ups and downs as a businessman and later as a politician, is again calling the shots in Haryana politics. He is now a kingmaker in the formation of a new government in Haryana, which has thrown a hung assembly in the polls held on October 21.
Kanda's rags-to-riches story is very interesting. A resident of Bilaspur village in Sirsa district, Kanda did a host of odd jobs, including measuring vegetables and other agricultural produce in Sirsa vegetable market. It is here he added the title Kanda to his name. He even repaired radios and ran a music cassette shop, before he along with his brother got into dealing in the shoe business, where he did not do well.
Kanda's fortunes changed when he entered into the real estate business in the late 1990s. He shifted to Gurugram and started taking up disputed properties and solved them to his advantage. Kanda bought properties in Gurugram and Sirsa taking advantage of the real estate boom then. He was accused of hobnobbing with anti-social elements to 'sort out' disputed properties, though Kanda later rejected the allegation.
IANS has larnt that the I-T department had conducted raids at the premises belonging to Kanda in the 2000s, but nobody knows what came out of them.
The real estate business in 2005 brought him enough money to start his 'MDLR Airlines', named after his father Murli Dhar and son Lakhpat Ram. However, the company shut shop in 2009, but it proved to be a thorn in the flesh as he was accused of abetting the suicide of a young air hostess Geetika Sharma, who worked with his airlines company, by harassing her and, according to her suicide note, "misusing her".
The woman committed suicide in August 2012.
Kanda was sent to Tihar Jail where he remained incarcerated from 2012 to 2014. He fought the Lok Sabha election in 2014 but was defeated.
Kanda continues to face trial in the air hostess suicide case, which is now in the evidence stage in a trial court.