Bribing for vote complaint goes to election commissionMarch 21st, 2008 - 3:00 pm ICT by admin
Bhopal, March 21 (IANS) The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Madhya Pradesh has complained to the Election Commission (EC) that lawmaker Kishore Samrite was offered money to vote for independent candidate Vivek Tankha in the forthcoming poll to the upper house of parliament. In a letter to the EC sent late Thursday night, BJP lawmakers Uma Shankar Gupta and Jitendra Singh Bundela said: “A bribe of Rs.2.5 million was offered by the Congress to Samrite for voting in favour of Tankha ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls”.
“The Congress even sent Rs.1 million as advance to Samrite at his residence. Samrite alleged that Tankha, Leader of the Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Jamuna Devi, Congress lawmaker Rajendra Singh and former minister N.P. Prajapati offered the bribe,” the letter said.
Polling for three Rajya Sabha seats is slated for March 28 and each candidate requires the votes of 58 legislators to reach Rajya Sabha, the upper house.
The three seats from the state falling vacant next month are at present held by Maya Singh of the BJP, Suresh Pachouri of the Congress and Obedullah Azmi of the Samajwadi Party.
This time the BJP is sure to send at least two candidates to the upper house from the state. It has 166 lawmakers, eight short of the number required to secure the third seat as well. The Congress requires 17 more legislators to ensure the victory of its candidate Tankha, who is contesting as an independent.
The controversy related to bribing Samrite broke out Tuesday night when he informed the media about Rs.1 million being offered to him as advance by former minister and Congress leader N.P. Prajapati to vote in favour of Tankha.
Samrite says that Congress leaders have been offering him up to Rs.3 million to vote for Tankha.
Samajwadi Party suspended Samrite within 24 hours of his making the allegation but said that it should not be linked to the exposure of the alleged attempt.
“Samrite was suspended from the party for indiscipline and it had nothing to do with exposing an alleged bribery by the Congress for voting in favour of Tankha in the Rajya Sabha elections,” said party state president Narayan Tripathi.
Describing the whole case as a conspiracy of the BJP, Tripathi said: “If it was not so, why was the government hesitant to go in for a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) probe?” he asked.
Tankha has threatened legal action against Samrite, saying: “I had recommended legal action against Samrite when I was advocate-general during the previous Congress government”.
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