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Sirsa shedding no tears on a ' ruthless' egoist's fall from grace.

" HE is worshipped like god in Sirsa, people will not let him stay in jail," his brother had smirked when Gopal Goyal Kanda surrendered.

We decided to take a 275- km journey to Sirsa to see first- hand whether this was just an empty boast or is he is indeed as popular as he is powerful in his bastion.

As we drove into the ' Kanda land', we saw his life- size cutouts on the road leading into the main city. But when we talked to locals, we heard tales of " egotism" of a self- proclaimed king running a sordid empire. " You reap what you sow," said Joginder, a shopkeeper who was forced to down shutters by Kanda's supporters a few days ago.

Those who have watched his meteoric rise call his fall from grace poetic justice. " He used to run a radio repair shop and later started a shoe store. He always defaulted on payments.

Nobody wanted to do business with him," said one of his neighbours.

He pointed to a tiny house near the main market. " This is where they livedC* After he entered politics, they moved to a ' fortress' outside the city. We don't know where the money came from. It is good his father never saw this day," the neighbour added.

Kanda's mansion on the city's outskirts has become a ' tourist attraction' since his name in the Geetika case surfaced. Locals said Kanda was known to be ruthless and obsessive.

When one of his aides defected to a rival party, he forced the family to flee Sirsa.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Aug 25, 2012
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