Advani was at centre of ‘Cash for Vote’: Jaswant Singh
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Last Updated: Friday, August 28, 2009, 23:32
  
Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a startling revelation, a news magazine has uncovered that BJP Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha L K Advani was involved in staging the “Cash for Vote” drama in the House, as per ousted BJP leader Jaswant Singh.

"Do you know this whole wretched thing of money for votes is a classic example of wrong decision making and it's extremely troubling that he did not stand up and say no. Advaniji was at the centre of this whole drama," he told the magazine.

Singh was referring to the episode in the Lok Sabha during the Trust Vote in July last year when three BJP MPs displayed bundles of currency notes totalling Rs one crore claiming they were being offered as bribe to support the government.

Singh said the facts were clear and he stumbled on to the whole thing when a very strange looking fellow was brought to his house by Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former aide of Advani.

The BJP however rejected the charge. "The charges of Jaswant Singh in a magazine suggest that the cash-for-vote was a BJP orchestrated campaign. We stoutly deny that. It was a campaign organised by the ruling party and its allies," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

"It was a sting operation carried out to expose this deal by one news channel in which our brave MPs definitely co-operated with the channel. Had it been telecast when the Trust Vote was being discussed, there would have been a different result of it. But unfortunately it could not be relayed that day," he explained.

Javadekar said charging BJP of "stage-managing" the operation is "entirely wrong".

Three BJP MPs, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Ashok Argal and Mahavir Bhagora, had waved cash worth Rs one crore in the Lok Sabha during the Trust Vote on July 22 last year and alleged that the money was offered to them as bribe to vote in favour of the UPA.

BJP also said the Kandahar was "wrong and uncalled for" as the hijack crisis was resolved after consulting all parties and experts.

"People accusing Advani on Kandahar is wrong and uncalled for. The issue is already resolved and it is a 11-year old story. The government of the day took every party into confidence and, after the security experts' advice, acted in a way best suited for the time," Javadekar said.

When Singh was asked by reporters whether he was seeking revenge from the leader who did not stand by him, Jaswant replied in the negative, stating that he actually pitied the man who went to such an extent in his lust for power.

"It's a great sense of pity. Here was a man who has consumed by an ambition to be Prime Minister, and that desire made him commit so many mistakes,” he added.

Vinod Mehta, while speaking with a news channel, remarked that BJP’s Sudheenda Kulkarni- who recently resigned from BJP- was the mastermind of the entire episode that unravelled during Trust Vote at the end of a discussion on Indo-US nuclear deal.

Interestingly, when he was questioned by the media about his involvement, Kulkarni had pointed the finger at some other BJP leader without naming him, thus conceding the involvement of the party but washing his own hands off the entire episode.

Jaswant’s charge that Advani told MPs to display money in Parliament comes at a time when the former is hit by controversies because of his book on Jinnah and has been sacked from the primary membership of the party on account of the same.

The magazine quotes Jaswant as saying, “To me it is a matter of great sadness…” that Advani has failed as a leader.

“Advani said they had two choices. They could take the money to the Speaker or the House. But Advani told the MPs to display money in Parliament.”

Jaswant said he was not consulted on the matter but was ‘extremely saddened’ when it came to his knowledge.

Citing the example of the army where leaders take responsibility, he said there were numerous examples when Advani would either keep quite or transfer responsibility to somebody else on occasions that troubled him and where he is likely to come under fire. "That is not the trait of a leader."

On Arun Shourie's description of Rajnath Singh as a Humpty Dumpty, Singh said the BJP president was a provincial leader who should never have been pushed up.

The expelled veteran BJP leader also lashed out at BJP, saying that it had become more of a cult and was not a political party any more. “It has been reduced to the proprietary partnership of a few. This has come about under the leadership of Advani. To explain superficially, the 116 BJP MPs today are like lost waifs," Jaswant said.

The former External Affairs and Defence Minister said he did not support the decisions like banning of overflights to Pakistan and deployment of troops during 'Operation Parakram' when he was away on some visit.

He said he was also greatly distressed when the BSF was sent into Bangladesh and a "wounding photograph" of the body of a BSF soldier being carried slunge on a bamboo appeared in the media.

Recounting his meeting with Vajpayee, Jaswant said that when he went to meet the BJP Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the Ganesh Chaturthi day, he was able to speak through a voice box attached to his throat.

"I have come to seek your blessings," Singh told Vajpayee.

"Kya ho gaya, kya ho gaya," Vajpayee replied and Singh says "It's enough actually. I asked for no comments about the furore. He just said that. That was all."


First Published: Friday, August 28, 2009, 23:32


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