Advani at the centre of entire `drama`: Sibal
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 21:51
  
New Delhi: HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday sought to turn tables on the BJP on the cash-for-vote scam in the Lok Sabha by saying a senior leader from the opposition party had charged L K Advani with being at the "centre" of the entire "drama".

Intervening in the debate, Sibal recalled an interview by senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh to a news magazine in 2009 in which he had blamed BJP Parliamentary Party Chairman L K Advani for being behind the cash-for-vote scam.

The Union Minister quoted from the interview in which Singh had claimed: "Here was a man who was consumed by an ambition to be Prime Minister...Advaniji was at the centre of this whole drama..."

Sibal said while BJP was targetting the UPA government on WikiLeaks, "your people are accusing your own party."

He also referred to another WikiLeak expose quoting a diplomatic cable in which some BJP leaders had reportedly said that the party's opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal was only meant for public consumption.

Sibal said Advani had himself stated both inside and outside Parliament that if BJP returns to power in 2009, it will renegotiate the nuclear deal, but according to leaked diplomatic cable the party veteran was against doing so as he believed that governments should work in continuity.

"If we can't believe Advaniji, how can we believe WikiLeaks," Sibal said amid protests by opposition benches.

Accusing BJP of "doublespeak", he said speaking in different languages has been the main opposition party's policy throughout.

Participating in the debate, Yashwant Sinha (BJP) said the government had no "moral right" to continue in power after the WikiLeak expose.

He said the government should not try to downplay the cable as former US Ambassador to New Delhi David Mulford has gone on record to confirm that such a cable exists and it was indeed sent by the embassy here.

"The telegram (cable) is contemporary and corroborates what most feel actually happened in this House," he said.

He also wanted to know whether US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had actually called External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to inform that India should be prepared for "embarrassment" following leakage of US diplomatic cables.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 21:51


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