India

Cash-for-Votes Scandal: Ruckus in Parliament on PM’s Response to Opposition’s Charges

BeyondHeadlines Special Correspondent

New Delhi: Opposition turned the heat on Prime Minister Manmohan (PM) Singh in the cash-for-votes scam as Parliament discussed the PM’s statement on the WikiLeaks disclosure on March 16. The cash-for-votes debate is presently going on and the Opposition is trying to corner the prime minister over the issue.

CPI(M) leader Gurudas Dasgupta said political gangsters were at work during the cash-for-votes scam, sparking off ruckus in Parliament.

“It’s a case of parliamentary piracy because some members were hijacked. The suspicion is that organised group of political gangsters were at work,” he said.

“I concede that the PM was precise in his statement and the statement was cogent. The PM was very prompt in throwing the ball in the court of the Opposition, his tone was very firm, normally he is not. He was firm in rejecting the complaints on cash-for-votes during the last no confidence motion,” said Dasgupta.

“The publication in The Hindu on March 17 was not new to us, it only became a proof against the government,” said Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition, Lok Sabha.

The government agreed yesterday to a short duration discussion after sustained pressure from the BJP and other parties.

Last week, the prime minister had told the Lok Sabha that no money exchanged hands during the 2008 trust vote over the Indo-US nuclear deal.

BJP Spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said there was enough proof that money exchanged hands ahead of the trust vote. He is accusing the prime minister of ignoring the Lok Sabha panel report on the matter.

Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Pawan Bansal are expected to speak in the PM’s defence.

The government is hoping to counter the Opposition by talking about Advani’s so-called doublespeak on the nuke deal that also came up in another US cable revealed by WikiLeaks.

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