Amar Singh to be quizzed in cash-for-votes scam?

The Delhi Police have sought permission from the Union Home Ministry to question former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Expanding their probe into the 2008 cash-for-votes scam, the Delhi Police have sought permission from the Union Home Ministry to question former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh.

The development comes after Sanjeev Saxena, arrested in connection with the scam, told police during interrogation that Amar Singh had provided him money to bribe MPs in 2008.

Saxena - a former private secretary of Amar Singh - was on Monday sent to 3-day police custody by a Delhi court.

Amar Singh has denied that Saxena was his aide. "He works for (Bharatiya Janata Party leader) Arun Jaitley," he said.

Police sources said apart from Amar Singh, Suhail Hindustani, a BJP activist, and BJP ideologue Sudheendra Kulkarni could also be questioned in connection with the scam.

As per law, investigating agencies require permission from Rajya Sabha Chairman or Lok Sabha Speaker to question parliamentarians.

Saxena, who said he was working as Amar Singh`s secretary for three years, is understood to have told the police that the leader`s driver, Sanjay had gone along with him to deliver the money - a fact confirmed by the two BJP MPs Fagan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora.

The two were among the three MPs who had alleged they had been paid to abstain from the trust vote sought by the Manmohan Singh government after the Left withdrew support over the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The MPs have told police that Amar Singh had introduced Saxena as his secretary.

The case, which has been activised by the recent intervention of the Supreme Court, is turning into a political slugfest with the BJP and Congress trading charges.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad yesterday called for a thorough probe into the case

However, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters that it was "inappropriate to make any comments as the investigations are on".

Police will widen the probe to find out whether the entire sum of Rs 1 crore was provided by Amar Singh or was there anyone else behind the corruption saga.

Police are trying to recover Saxena`s phone which was used to make all the calls at that time, the sources said. They are also looking for Sanjay, the driver.

Saxena was caught on camera in a sting operation paying BJP MPs Kulaste, Bhagora and Ashok Argal bribes ahead of the confidence vote.

Kulaste, Argal and Bhagora had waved several bundles of notes inside the Lok Sabha on July 22, 2008 alleging that they were offered Rs 1 crore to abstain.

A seven-member parliamentary committee was set up soon after the cash-for-votes scam. The committee had directed the Delhi Police to investigate the case.

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