Ajit Singh denies charges of getting cash for votes

March 17th, 2011 - 3:45 pm ICT by ANI  

Telangana New Delhi, Mar 17 (ANI): Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh today denied allegations that his party was bribed to vote for the Congress-led UPA Government in the 2008 confidence vote.

Talking to reporters here, Singh said that three lawmakers of his party voted against the government after consulting with other parties like the Communists Party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

“Our party was against the nuclear deal and incidentally event in Japan has vindicated us. We decided to vote against the government and we did vote against the government. We had only three MPs at that time,” he added.

The RLD lawmakers, of which there are three, not four as specified in the cable, stood against the government in the vote, which Congress party won with 275 in favour and 256 against, in the Lok Sabha.

Singh, meanwhile, questioned the credentials of the report.

“Somebody said something to somebody and he reported that that matter, this is the matter. Whosoever he may be, I don’t know him. Basically it is that somebody said something and embassy reported outside,” he said.

According to the WikiLeaks disclosure, a set of India-related diplomatic cables on the Indo-US nuclear deal released by it claims that an aide of Congress leader Satish Sharma had told a US diplomat that the party had paid crores to several lawmakers to ensure that they voted for the deal in Parliament.

In a cable dated July 17, 2008 sent to the US State Department, Charge d’Affaires Steven White wrote about a visit the embassy’s political counsellor paid to Rajya Sabha MP Satish Sharma.

Sharma, according to WikiLeaks, told the US diplomat that he and others in the Congress were working hard to ensure that the government would win the confidence vote on July 22, 2008.

According to White, Sharma’s political aide Nachiketa Kapur mentioned to an embassy staff member in an aside on July 16 that the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) had been paid Rs 10 crore to each of its four MPs. (ANI)

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