BJP MPs file formal bribe complaint with Speaker

July 25th, 2008 - 7:26 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, July 25 (IANS) The three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs who alleged they had received bribes to abstain in Tuesday’s trust vote, lodged a formal complaint with Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee. The party Friday said it would not go to the police for the time being as the Speaker has wide ranging powers on the matter.

“We have lodged a joint formal complaint with the Speaker. It is now up to him to take appropriate action on the matter,” said BJP leader V.K. Malhotra.

“The Speaker has wide powers to take action, so we have decided against going to the police for now. But this option is also under consideration,” Malhotra added.

The Speaker has the power to order a police inquiry in the case.

The three BJP MPs, Ashok Argal, Mahavir Bhagora and Faggan Singh Kulaste, created an uproar in the Lok Sabha Tuesday when they displayed wads of currency notes, alleging that they had been given Rs.10 million each by Samajwadi Party leaders as advance for abstaining during the trust vote.

Chatterjee Thursday asked the three BJP MPs to lodge a formal complaint with him. In a letter, Chatterjee asked them to file a complaint so that he could order an investigation into the sting carried out by television channel CNN-IBN into the alleged cash-for-vote transaction.

The speaker is now in possession of the tape, which the channel handed over to him Wednesday.

“We requested the Speaker to return the tape to the party so that we can also view the evidence,” Malhotra said.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government won the trust vote Tuesday by a comfortable margin, largely attributed to the large scale cross-voting and abstentions.

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