Cash-for-votes: Rewati Raman, Argal quizzed

Samajwadi Party MP Rewati Raman Singh was on Monday questioned by the Delhi Police for his alleged involvement in the cash-for-votes scam of 2008.

Last Updated: Jul 25, 2011, 19:19 PM IST

New Delhi: Pushing its probe into the
cash-for-votes scam, Delhi Police on Monday separately questioned
Samajwadi Party MP Rewati Raman Singh and BJP MP Ashok Argal,
both of whom gave divergent statements on the issue.

Rewati Raman, who is accused of having played a
mediator`s role in the purported bribery attempt in 2008, was
questioned for about 90 minutes by the Crime Branch officials
to ascertain whether or not he was connected with the issue,
police sources said.

Sources said 68-year-old Rewati Raman told police that
Argal, who was allegedly sought to be bribed, had approached
him saying that he and two other BJP MPs wanted to join SP as
they feared that BJP would deny seat to them due to
delimitation of constituencies.

Rewati Raman, the Lok Sabha member from Allahabad, later
told reporters that he told police what he told the
Parliamentary panel which looked into the scam.

"I have told them what I have told the Parliamentary
panel. The case is before Supreme Court now. I want the
conspiracy behind the episode exposed," he said.

Hours later, police questioned Argal who countered
Rewati Raman`s contention, saying it was the other way round,
the sources said.

He claimed that Rewati Raman had approached him and that
the SP MP will have to explain what he was doing at his house
in the midnight of July 21 and 22, 2008.

42-year-old Argal questioned why he would join Congress
or SP as claimed by Rewati Raman. "I will die as a BJP worker.

My father was jailed for 19 months during Emergency. Then why
should I join Congress or BJP? No such question arises," he
said.

Argal said he appeared before the police responding to
a summons and expected that the probe will be on the right
track. "I am being questioned after police gave a clean chit
to Congress and SP leaders. After the probe, the truth will
prevail," he said.

Police also asked Rewati Raman about the telephone call
he received from Suhail Hindustani, who is alleged to be
go-between the bribe givers and bribe takers, on the midnight
of July 21 and 22 and to know why he went to the house of
Argal as alleged by the other side.

With this, Delhi Police has questioned five persons over
the past ten days after the Supreme Court came down heavily on
investigators for carrying out a shoddy probe in the
three-year-old case.

The questioning of Rewati Raman and Argal came three
days after Amar Singh was questioned by the investigators. Two
persons Sanjeev Saxena, former aide of Amar Singh, and Suhail
Hindustani, an alleged go-between Amar Singh and BJP sought to
be bribed, were arrested after quizzing last week.

Investigators have already given a virtual clean chit
to Rewati Raman and others saying it was Hindustani only who
tried to approach them for striking a deal for MPs to vote in
favour of the UPA government.

Police believe that Hindustani is the mastermind of the
scam and tried to entrap leaders of Samajwadi Party and it was
with this purpose that he telephoned Rewati Raman.

PTI