New twist in cash-for-vote scam: Chidambaram

Last Updated: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 00:26

New Delhi: Seeking to corner BJP following
an "an unexpected turn of events" in cash-for-vote row, Union
Home Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said the investigations into
the controversy will be widened to find if a political party
had "engineered" the sting operation ahead of 2008 trust vote.

Chidambaram referred to the "unexpected turn of events"
in the Rajya Sabha after his party colleague Jayanthi Natrajan
intervened to charge that the television sting operation was
"mounted" by BJP.

"This is exposed by Tehelka," she said attacking Leader
of the Oppostion Arun Jaitley.
Participating in the short duration discussion on Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh`s statement on the WikiLeaks expose of
cash-for-vote controversy, Chidambaram said "today, there has
been a completely unexpected turn of events".

He said that with the fresh revealations, the
investigations being done by the Delhi Police would also
examine whether a particular party had "engineered" and
"manufactured" the sting operation to de-stablise a sitting
government in 2008.
He said journalists of the news channel, which
carried out the sting operation have been examined.

Siddhartha Gautam, one of these journalists, who had left
the country, has now made the statement.

"CNN-IBN has also been requested to facilitate recording
of the statement of Gautam," he said.

Further investigations, which will include sitting Lok
Sabha members, would be done, he said.

" far as sitting MPs are concerned, we will take
steps to request the Speaker, Lok Sabha, to concur on
examination of MPs," he said.

Asserting that it was wrong to say that the matter was
not being investigated, the Home Minister said the forensic
report would also be taken into account.

"I am told that the investigation will be completed
shortly...a decision will be taken about what further steps
should be taken," he said.

When senior BJP leader S S Ahluwalia objected to
Chidambaram quoting any newspaper report, the Home Minister
said he was not doing so and added "why are you defensive?
What are you afraid of ?"

In the Lok Sabha, it was HRD Minister Kapil Sibal who
took on BJP and said the oppostion party "wilfully" set out to
entrap the opponents in the cash-for-votes scam, according to

"This is a story that stands to turn contemporary
discourse on its head. It is a dark story of how three main
stream political parties and sections of the media have
fooled the nation," he said adding Samajwadi Party
"voluntarily fell into the trap."


First Published: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 00:26

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