Amid sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and India Against Corruption (IAC) activists, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Tuesday said the transfer of IAS officer Ashok Khemka had nothing to do with the probe against Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra.
Denying all the allegations, Hooda said the Haryana Government was by no means involved in any deal benefiting Vadra.
"Transfer of any official comes under jurisdiction of the government and it is not a punishment. Secondly, I have asked chief secretary to inquire about whatever he (Ashok Khemka) has said. I would like to make it clear that Haryana Government has not given undue favour to anyone," Hooda told mediapersons in Chandigarh.
"And we have a transparent system but if any official has done anything wrong or if Khemka has given miss statement of facts, then we will take an appropriate action against him," he added.
Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Om Prakash Chautala said that this was not for the first time that the state government had transferred an honest officer in order to hide their wrong doings.
"He is a very brave officer. This is not for the first time that he has exposed government's wrong doings and for every time when he has done this thing, state government has transferred him," he told mediapersons in New Delhi.
Chautala said he has violated all the rules to benefit Vadra and to please Sonia Gandhi.
"Chief Minister of Haryana is trying to save his position by influencing the leadership at the Centre in Delhi and that is why they have given land to Sonia Gandhi's son in law by violating all the rules not only in one region, but in other regions as well such as Mewat, Gurgaon, Jhajjar, Palwal and Faridabad," he said.
The 1991-batch IAS officer, Ashok Khemka, earlier today said that he does not know the reason for his transfer, and added that he did his job honestly.
"Robert Vadra and DLF are two separate individuals and whether it is DLF or Robert Vadra or a common man, everybody is equal for the government, there is no difference. I do not know the reason of why the government has transferred me but I have made all the efforts to fulfill my responsibilities," said Khemka.
"I have suffered 40 transfers in 20 years. I would want to know why I am transferred, so that I can take corrective action and become a better civil servant," he added.
Khemka, who exposed widespread irregularities in land deals, was transferred out just three days after he ordered a probe into some of Robert Vadra's land deals with real estate giant DLF.
Khemka issued an order on his last day in office on October 15, cancelling the mutation of a 3.531-acre plot of land in Manesar-Shikohpur that Vadra had sold to DLF for Rs. 58 crore.
Three days earlier, Khemka issued a letter formally ordering an inquiry across four districts into the alleged 'under-valuation' of some properties registered by Vadra or his companies.