BJP stands firm behind 2 ex-MPs, Kulkarni

A day after Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former aide of senior BJP leader LK Advani, was arrested and sent to jail in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam, the BJP top brass is expected to meet him in Tihar Jail on Wednesday.

New Delhi: Standing firm behind its two
"whistle-blower" ex-MPs and L K Advani`s former aide
Sudheendra Kulkarni in the cash-for-vote scam, BJP on Wednesday
claimed they were innocent and were only trying to "expose"
use of money to save the UPA-I government during the 2008
trust vote.
Advani, along with Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya
Sabha Arun Jaitley, today visited Tihar jail where the two
former MPs- Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora- and
Kulkarni have been kept under judicial custody.

Defending the three, Jaitley said, "False entrapment
cannot co-exist with bribery" while maintaining that
whistleblower cannot be treated in the same manner as a bribe

He said that 19 MPs had either cross-voted or abstained
during the trust vote and there were "open allegations" of use
of money power to influence MPs.

"Delhi Police has accepted that prima facie bribe was
paid.... Our MPs were only involved in exposing them (bribe
givers) as whistleblowers," Jaitley said.

The eminent lawyer argued that after the Supreme Court
judgement in the JMM case, the jurisdiction in such matters
lies only with Parliament and so they had to inform Lok Sabha
about it.

"During the 2008 trust vote there were allegations of
use of money power (to save the UPA government)... Their
intention was not to take money. They had exposed it (the act)
in Lok Sabha," Jaitley said outside Tihar jail.
Kulkarni was arrested yesterday and sent to judicial
custody till October one in connection with the 2008
cash-for-votes scandal. Earlier this month, Bhagora and
Kulaste too were sent to jail after their bail pleas were
rejected by a local court.

Jaitley`s Lok Sabha counterpart Sushma Swaraj had
visited Tihar earlier to meet the two ex-MPs.


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