BJP, Congress in Madhya Pradesh trade charges over ‘cash for vote’ drama

July 23rd, 2008 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Bhopal, July 23 (IANS) With two of the three BJP MPs who charged the UPA Tuesday with offering bribe for abstaining from voting belonging to the state, the impact of the ‘cash for vote’ drama in parliament is being strongly felt in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh. Allegations between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress started flowing thick and fast in the state capital within hours of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) wining the controversial trust vote.

While the opposition Congress accused Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of ‘bank-rolling the bribe money’ for BJP MPs Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora, the ruling BJP announced an agitation against the ‘corrupt methods’ adopted by the UPA to win the trust vote in parliament.

Raising doubts over the credentials of both the BJP MPs, who were allegedly offered bribe for abstaining from voting on the trust move, state Congress spokesman Manak Agrawal told a press conference here that Argal’s father Chhaviram Argal had enacted a similar ‘drama’ during the Charan Singh government’s trust vote in 1979.

The Congress leader alleged that Chouhan, along with his ministerial colleagues and some police officials including inspector general of police Rishi Shukla, was staying at MP Bhavan in Delhi for the past few days — and it were the same police personnel through whom the chief minister sent the currency bundles to the three BJP MPs to be displayed inside the Lok Sabha.

“What were the MP Police personnel doing outside Argal’s house when the money was offered and why did not Argal bother to get the money-carrier arrested when the police was present outside his house,” Agrawal asked.

He also raised questions about the credibility of Kulaste who, he said, himself had been caught taking bribe in the past. “He was caught on camera demanding Rs 15,000 from his MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund in a sting operation carried out by a news channel”.

On the other hand, BJP state vice-president Vijendra Singh Sisodia defended Kulaste saying: “Had Kulaste not been honest he would have kept with him the bribe amount offered to him”.

Sisodia said the Congress had no right to continue in power after UPA was ‘exposed’ in Parliament and demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Lambasting the Congress for the ’shameful act’ that took place in parliament, Sisodia said: “It is not a new game for the Congress as the party earlier bribed Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MPs to save the minority P.V. Narasimha Rao regime (in 1993)”.

Sisodia said the BJP would burn effigies of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in every district of the state

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