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Happy to be out of UPA-2: Former minister

PTI | Last Updated: Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 22:18

Gurgaon: Former minister of state for external affairs and defence production and Gurgaon Congress MP Rao Inderjeet Singh Saturday said he was happy that he was not part of the cabinet in UPA-2.

Rao Inderjeet Singh served as minister in the government of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) when it first came to power in 2004, but was dropped from the ministry after the UPA government returned to power in 2009.

Singh was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998, 2004 and 2009.

He started his career in politics in Haryana, and was legislator in that state for the first time in 1977.

After announcing office bearers of Insaf Manch Haryana party, which he launched this year after making his exit from the Congress, Singh said in the national capital Saturday: "I was surprised when I was not included in the UPA-2 ministry after Lok Sabha elections in May 2009. I asked my party high command and senior leaders for the reason, but no one replied."

"It was the choice of the prime minister to form his team. Within the year of the formation of UPA-2 government, scams started making headlines. After that, I never wished for any place in the Manmohan Singh cabinet," Singh said, accepting that he never got any offer to join the cabinet.

"Thanks, I was not part of the allegedly `most corrupt` ministry," Singh said.

Accusing Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of bias against south Haryana allotment of development works and government jobs, Rao floated the Insaf Manch March 3 at a rally in Pataudi, with the party banner proclaiming: "Fight for justice".

Now, Rao has been appointed as president of the Manch, while his daughter Aarti Singh Rao will be vice president.

He also demanded an independent probe into the land use change of 21,000 acres permitted in the state during the past five years.

He alleged that alignments of Gurgaon Master Plan 2021, 2025 and 2031 were changed to give undue benefit to people close to Hooda.

Earlier, the parliament member had demanded an inquiry into the land deal of Robert Vadra, son-in-law of United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi, that was cancelled by senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka.

To a question over whether he would resign from parliament, he said, "Party gave me the ticket, but I was elected by the people for five years, I will not resign."

At the Sep 23 Rewari martyrs` rally of Rao Tula Ram (his ancestor), a freedom fighter, he announced his resignation from the party, adding he would not contest the 2014 general elections on a Congress ticket.

Since 2009, Rao has chaired the parliamentary committee on Information Technology.

First Published: Saturday, November 9, 2013 - 22:18

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