New Delhi: Hours after being booked by Delhi Police for abetting the suicide of a former airhostess, Haryana Minister Gopal Kanda on Sunday resigned from the government, saying he was taking the step to ensure an "impartial" probe.
"I have tendered my resignation and requested Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to accept it. I have resigned to ensure an impartial probe. I have full faith in the law of the land. I am confident that I will come out clean after investigations are held," the Independent MLA told reporters at his residence here.
Kanda, 46, denied having any direct links with the victim Geetika Sharma.
Kanda, who was minister of state for Home, Urban Bodies and Industry and Commerce, said that he has resigned from all departments.
He said that he was waiting for the Chief Minister to return from Kolkata and had immediately forwarded his resignation upon his return to Delhi late this evening.
Kanda on Sunday landed in trouble as Delhi Police registered a case of abetment to suicide against him after a former woman employee of his now defunct airline MDLR allegedly took her life accusing harassment by him.
23-year-old former air hostess Geetika Sharma, who quit Kanda's company recently, took the extreme step at her Ashok Vihar residence in north-west Delhi residence, apparently depressed over continuing mental harassment allegedly by the minister.
While describing Geetika Sharma as a bright young girl, Kanda, a first-time MLA, said that he felt sorry over her taking the extreme step.
However, he said, "I don't know why she has done it. I feel sad for her, she was good employee. Investigations will reveal the true picture, which his why I have step down and asked the Chief Minister to relieve me till I come out clean."
Hooda will forward Kanda's resignation to the governor, official sources said.
In addition to the Chief Minister, there are nine ministers and three ministers of state in the Hooda ministry.
Kanda, who was once known to be close to Chautalas, has enjoyed powerful position in the Hooda ministry.
Kanda and other six Independent MLAs had lent crucial support to the Congress which fell short of a simple majority after the October 2009 Assembly polls.
Later, five members of the Haryana Janhit Congress also joined the ruling outfit and also the party won a seat in a by-election.
The present strength of Congress in Haryana's 90 member House is Congress 46, INLD 30, BSP 1, SAD 1, BJP 4, HJC 1 and 7 Independents.
On allegations of harassment, Kanda said that he never had any direct dealing with Geetika and claimed that she has not directly blamed him.
"There are other bosses who remain in touch with her," he said.
It was alleged that Kanda, an independent MLA from Sirsa was pressurising Sharma to rejoin his firm, which she had left recently to pursue MBA, a senior police official said.
In her suicide note, Geetika had claimed that Kanda was torturing her mentally after she left her job in his company and was pressurising her to join his firm again.
Indian National Lok Dal President and former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala demanded immediate arrest of Kanda and dismissal of the state government.
He further alleged that it was not the first time that the "controversial Minister" was caught on the wrong foot of the law.
The INLD leader said that during his party-sponsored bandh in Sirsa in August 2010, Kanda's bodyguards had allegedly assaulted its activists during the shutdown, a charge which was then denied by the Independent legislator.
"One can only imagine how safe will the people of Haryana be when a person like him (Kanda) has been entrusted with the responsibility to handle the Home Department," Chautala said.
Haryana BJP President Krishanpal Gujjar demanded a CBI probe. Haryana Janhit Congress President and Hisar MP Kuldeep Bishnoi demanded immediate arrest of Gopal Kanda and dismissal of the Hooda Government.
(With additional inputs from PTI)