Panaji: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and parliamentarians either booked or arrested in the cash-for-votes scam should have been decorated with awards instead, a senior BJP leader said on Friday.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji, ahead of LK Advani`s yatra in Goa, former party president M Venkaiah Naidu said that instead of targeting the beneficiaries, the Congress was using government machinery to go after the whistleblowers.
"They should have been given Padma awards for exposing such a fraud, where the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) used bribery to save its government," said Naidu, who was in Goa to oversee preparations for the yatra reaching Goa Nov 1.
Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former aide of Advani, was arrested for orchestrating the 2008 scam, in which three BJP MPs claimed they had been bribed to vote in favour of the Congress on the Indo-US nuke deal.
"Our MPs should have been congratulated for bringing their money to Parliament and exposing corruption," Naidu said. "Instead, they were told they had brought shame on Parliament."
Naidu added that the Delhi Police was being arm-twisted by the Congress to target the opposition.
On July 22, 2008, then BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste, Mahavir Bhagora and Ashok Argal waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha ahead of a trust vote, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.