Allegations of bribes to MPs could be probed: Omar

J&K CM said he had extended support to the UPA Government during the July 2008 trust vote on his own and not at the bidding of Rahul Gandhi but felt the allegations of bribes to MPs at that time could be probed.

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2011, 17:40 PM IST

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister
Omar Abdullah on Friday said he had extended support to the UPA
Government during the July 2008 trust vote on his own and not
at the bidding of Rahul Gandhi but felt the allegations of
bribes to MPs at that time could be probed.

"I don`t believe that somebody of this stature...of
the Prime Minister or Mrs (Sonia) Gandhi would ever sanction
any sort of system of buying votes but what happened I think
needs to be gone into," Omar tweeted.

Omar recalled that it was not Congress General
Secretary Rahul Gandhi who approached him for his party`s
support during the trust vote in 2008 but it was he, who "got
in touch", with Gandhi.

"I had conversations that I recall at least, with the
Prime Minister at that time. I don`t specifically recall a
conversation with Rahul (Gandhi) where he solicited the
support of the National Conference.

"Infact I, if I remember correctly, I got in touch
with Rahul and asked him how the process was going and if
there was any way in which we could help because I am a firm
believer that India needed to secure this deal to improve its
energy position...," Omar told reporters.

According to the Wikileaks cable, Captain Satish
Sharma had said that Rahul Gandhi was "personally working
Omar (Abdullah)."

"And my thoughts, what I believed, is what I stated in
my speech in Parliament on 22nd July during that crucial vote.
So I honestly don`t recall Rahul calling me or asking me for
support.

"I do remember a couple of conversations with the
Prime Minister during which I myself assured him that the
National Conference is supportive of this bill of this nuclear
deal and that we would be happy to vote along with the
government," he said.

Omar said he cannot not confirm whether huge money was
involved as alleged in the Wikileaks, and this issue could be
"gone into".

"I honestly..am the wrong person to comment about this
because while there are certain factual inaccuracies in the
Wikileaks cable. Obviously the question that arises that why
was a diplomat from the US Embassy...invent a complete story.

"Now what is the truth behind this, what actually
transpired, what happened, only those people involved in this
will know and I guess at some point in time we will have to
establish the truth in what happened.

"That having been said, let`s not forget that there
was an inquiry, there was a committee headed by a senior
Parliamentarian at that time who inquired into all aspects of
the cash-for-vote scandal and found the allegations to be
unfounded," he said.

He also took a dig at the BJP over the attack against
the UPA government on Wikileaks and said how he could have
"forgotten their approaches and offers in 1998-99" when the
NDA government faced trust vote.

"Love the BJP`s holier than thou attitude. I haven`t
forgotten their approaches & (and) offers in 1998-99 when they
faced votes in Parliament," Omar tweeted.

"And no there were no offers of money even in 98-99
but we were asked what they could do for us. I did ask for
sovereign counter guarantees like for Enron for our power
projects for our state but we didn`t get those." Omar tweeted
further.

PTI