Chatterjee sets up committee to enquire into bribery charges

July 26th, 2008 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Somnath Chatterjee

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS)Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee Saturday set up a seven-member committee to examine claims made by three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs that they were bribed to stay away from voting on the confidence motion in parliament earlier this week. The committee, to be headed by C. Kishore Chandra Dev, who also heads the house privileges committee, will go through the entire gamut of evidence and submit its recommendations by August 11, the scheduled opening of the monsoon session.

The BJP Friday filed a formal complaint with the speaker on the issue.

The complaint, filed jointly by Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora is said to have named Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh as the mastermind behind the bribery scandal. Ahmed Patel, the Congress president’s political secretary, too finds a mention.

The complaint recounts the sequence of events that culminated in the dramatic scenes that rocked the Lok Sabha during the discussion on the trust-vote.

The trio had alleged on the floor of the House that they had been offered Rs 3 crore each for abstaining during the vote.

During the fag end of the trust vote debate the MPs created a sensation by opening by leather bags containing currency notes of Rs 1000 denomination. Each alleged they were pay-offs given by the Samajwadi Party as bribe for absenting themselves from the trust vote.

Both Amar Singh and Patel have reiterated that they would quit public life if there was any evidence of them offering or giving money to any MP.

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