BJP seeks to wash its hands off from Bangaru punishment



New Delhi: BJP on Saturday sought to wash its hands off from the jail term awarded by a court here to its former president Bangaru Laxman in a bribery case, saying the order is part of a legal process which does not involve the party as the liability is personal.

"This sentence is a part of the legal process. He (Laxman) will appeal against it. The liability here is personal and does not involve the party," BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

A Delhi court sentenced Laxman today to four years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 1 Lakh. He had been caught in a sting operation, conducted by news portal Tehelka, where he is shown accepting a bribe of Rs one lakh to fix a fictious defence deal in 2001.

BJP sought to take digs at the government for allegedly using CBI selectively which had investigated this case and is now probing high-profile cases like 2G spectrum scam.

"One fact needs to be noted that it (Laxman case) was a sting for Rs one lakh only. If CBI can secure conviction here, I am sure if CBI is allowed a proper free hand, then also surely conviction and heavy sentence would be passed in a series of shameful scandals of Congress regime where actual public money has been looted," Prasad said.

Enumerating these cases, Prasad charged Congress had looted Rs 1.67 Lakh crore in 2G spectrum case and Rs 20,000 crore in the Commonwealth Games.

"Congress had looted crores of rupees in Bofors", Prasad alleged. Asked if Laxman's conviction comes as an embarrasment to BJP, Prasad maintained prompt and swift action was taken when the issue had come to light 11 years ago.

"When the incident occured, the party removed him immediately the same evening. And thereafter, BJP has not given him any important post in the party," Prasad said.

PTI