Kulkarni, 2 former BJP MPs walk out of Tihar jail

Last Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 23:09

New Delhi: After spending over a month in
Tihar jail, Sudheendra Kulkarni, former aide of BJP leader LK
Advani, and two ex-BJP MPs Mahavir Singh Bhagora and Faggan
Singh Kulaste walked out this evening on bail in the cash-for-votes scam.

"I thank the High Court. We have got independence again.
Our stand has been vindicated," Kulkarni, who was welcomed
with garlands, told reporters outside Tihar.

Looking relaxed, a smiling Kulkarni said, "I salute all
BJP leaders and members who supported us. Our struggle will
continue. The whole truth has not come out as yet. Those who
gave the bribes, who were behind them. The ultimate
beneficiary is the Government, that has to be exposed."

Kulkarni has been accused by the Delhi Police of
masterminding a conspiracy in 2008 which saw three BJP MPs
putting themselves on the market ahead of a trust vote in
Parliament. He was arrested on September 27.

On July 22, 2008, the then three BJP MPs Argal, Kulaste
and Bhagora waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha
hours ahead of the trust vote, alleging they were given the
money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.

They were allegedly paid Rs.one crore in cash as an
advance for a purported Rs.nine crore deal.

Sanjeev Saxena, former aide to politican Amar Singh, and
Sohail Hindustani, who claims to have served as a BJP youth
activist, were also released from prison today. Argal has got
anticipatory bail.

Amar Singh, also arrested in the case, was granted bail
earlier for medical reasons. He has denied the charges of
having any role in the case.

"The Congress-led UPA government was indeed trying to
purchase MPs and we acted as whistle-blowers", said BJP
spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman, adding that the MPs carried
out the whole operation with the knowledge of a media house.

Defending its MPs of only playing the role of
whistle-blower, Sitharaman said, "No prima facie case is being
made out. There is no intention of giving or taking bribe...
It is clear that they only participated in whistle-blower
operation. There is no conspiracy."

The BJP leader also raised a number of questions on why
only the BJP MPs were targeted and sent to Tihar jail in the
cash-for-vote scam and no action was initiated against others
in the case, including the Congress-led UPA government which
was the real beneficiary of the scam.

While granting bail to them yesterday, the Delhi High
Court had virtually questioned the foundation of the cash-for-
vote scam, saying had they wanted bribe, they would not have
conducted a sting operation.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 23:09

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