Business Standard

What could have brought Yajee, Hooda together?


N Sundaresha Subramanian New Delhi
Satyanand Yajee, who turned Onkareshwar Properties, a company with capital of Rs 1 lakh, into a Rs 136-crore capital base behemoth, isn’t an obscure figure. He is an office bearer of the Delhi-based All India Freedom Fighters Organisation (AIFFO). Onkareshwar Properties had sold 3.5 acres in Shikopur village to Robert Vadra-promoted Sky Light Hospitality for Rs 7.5 crore in February-March 2008.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, too, has strong ties to this organisation. Before his death in 2009, Ranbir Singh, Hooda’s father, was working president of AIFFO. And, Hooda is a founder-member and working president of AIFFO’s sister body, All India Freedom Fighters’ Successors’ Organisation(AIFFSO), according to his profile in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha website.
Both Hooda and Yajee are sons of freedom fighters. While Satyanand’s father, the late Sheel Bhadra Yajee, hailed from Bihar and was said to be close to Subhash Chandra Bose, Ranbir Singh hailed from Rohtak and was irrigation minister of Punjab when the iconic Bhakra Nangal project was implemented. On a website in honour of Sheel Bhadra Yajee, the chief minister, with his father and son, Deepender Hooda, is quoted showering praises.
Recently, AIFFO had spent lakhs of rupees in full-page advertisements praising Ranbir Singh’s contributions to the freedom struggle. This led to protests by opposition parties, which alleged AIFFO had received government funding for the advertisements. AIFFO denied the charge.
Before Godavari Yajee, who holds two per cent stake as of the last filing with MCA, became the director of Onkareshwar Properties on March 31, 2011, that position was held by Sandeep Dahiya, who also held two per cent stake in the company. Dahiya, who joined the company on the same day as Satyanand, is a relative of Hooda from his wife, Asha Dahiya Hooda’s side. In 2011, he was selected for the Haryana civil service. Citing ties to the CM, opposition parties such as the Omprakash Chautala-led INLD alleged nepotism.
Though there are no direct links between Hooda and the promoters of Onkareshwar, their families might have been known to each other. Hooda and Dahiya could not be reached for comments. The chief minister’s media advisors in Delhi did not respond to calls, while an email sent to an advisor did not elicit any response. Deepender Hooda, the chief minister’s son and a Member of Parliament, did not respond to calls to his mobile phone and a text message.

Before Yajee joined Onkareshwar Properties in 2008, the company was owned by Anil Bhalla and Gautam Bhalla of the Vatika group. In 2005, they bought the company, incorporated by Pardeep and Govind Kumar in 2004, with capital of Rs 100,000. An email sent to a Vatika group spokesperson remained unanswered.
At 7, Jantar Mantar Road in this city, two rusty boards of the AIFFO and AIFFSO lead to a dingy office. Life-size photographs of Ranbir Singh and Sheel Bhadra Yajee welcome the visitors. An elderly caretaker says, “Hooda sab jab Delhi aate hain, saab unse milte hain (When Hooda comes to Delhi he meets Yajee).” She added Yajee was out of station but might be available next week. Yajee did not respond to calls to his mobile phone.

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First Published: Oct 27 2012 | 12:26 AM IST

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