BJP stands firm behind 2 ex-MPs, Kulkarni



BJP stands firm behind 2 ex-MPs, Kulkarni 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 giver.

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.

PTI