Cash-for-vote: BJP asks PM, Sonia to clarify stand

Last Updated: Saturday, November 19, 2011 - 19:59

New Delhi: The BJP on Saturday felicitated its
"whistleblowers" in the cash-for-vote scam to highlight the
corruption issue and demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi clarify their stand on
the matter.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari and Leader of Opposition in
Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj felicitated Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh
Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora, along with L K Advani`s former
aide Sudheendra Kulkarni and party worker Suhail Hindustani.

They had acted as "whistleblowers" in the July 2008
cash-for-vote scam by participating in a sting operation in
which bribe was allegedly offered to Argal, Kulaste and
Bhagora, who were sitting MPs, to buy their support in the
Trust Vote.

Speaking at the programme, Gadkari said injustice had
been done to these five people as they were incarcerated for
days for no fault.
"The Delhi High Court has said that it could not find
any prima facie evidence against them...These people were in
jail even during Diwali...Why were they kept in jail? This is
not somebody`s fiefdom," Gadkari said.

He attacked the Prime Minister and the UPA chairperson
on the cash-for-vote scam.

"19 MPs were bought and sold. Can such a Prime Minister
be called honest? Can Sonia Gandhi clarify if this was done
with her permission or not?" Gadkari asked.

Congress, however, challenged this contention with party
spokesperson Rashid Alvi taunting the BJP saying, "The
opposition party will welcome even B S Yeddyurappa who was in
jail over corruption cases."

Asked to comment on BJP contention that they were
whistleblowers, Alvi said, "The matter is pending with the
court and the court will decide who is wrong and who is
right."

The BJP whistleblowers will participate in Advani`s
rally here tomorrow which marks the culmination of his yatra
on good governance and clean politics.

At the function here today, Swaraj said, after the
whistleblowers were arrested, Advani was highly disturbed and
decided to take out this yatra.

Alleging that Congress was involved in the cash-for-vote
scam and was a beneficiary of the same, Gadkari said the
ruling party`s stand on the issue was a case of the pot
calling the kettle black.

"Such a Prime Minister cannot be called honest. He
should clarify whether it was carried out with his
permission," Gadkari said.

BJP announced that it will take up the issue of
corruption both inside Parliament in the forthcoming session
as well as on the streets through protests and demonstrations.

"After what the courts have observed in this case, I
hope both the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi will apologise
to the nation," Gadkari said.

He maintained that BJP is proud of what the
whistleblowers had done.

Swaraj said the two leaders and Hindustani were in jail
for 72 days while Kulkarni had to spend 52 days in Tihar.

"Their bail is just a stop and not the final
destination. We will not rest till we reach our goal... The
honour being bestowed on these leaders should have been done
by the government on the day they exposed the corruption,"
Swaraj said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, November 19, 2011 - 19:51

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