Congress, BJP trade charges following Laxman’s sentencingApril 28th, 2012 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) The four-year jail term Saturday to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) former president Bangaru Laxman for accepting bribes triggered a political slugfest with the Congress asking the BJP to “self-introspect” and the latter accusing it of not doing enough to book the guilty in the Commonwealth Games and 2G spectrum scams.
Congress spokesperson Raashid Alvi took a dig at the BJP over the four-year sentence awarded to Laxman, saying it was the first time a national president of a national party had been found guilty and punished by a court of law.
“It is proper time for the BJP to do self-analysis, to rethink about its organisation,” Alvi said.
He added the Congress was not looking at the situation with any sense of happiness.
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said conviction in the case was Laxman’s “pesonal liability”, but added that he was entitled to take legal remedies.
Prasad accused the government of not allowing fair probe in some other cases of corruption, including alleged payoffs to Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrochhi in the Bofors gun deal.
Another party leader, Shahnawaz Hussain said the BJP was committed to fighting corruption. He said the decision to remove Laxman as the party president was taken “within hours” of the bribery allegations.
“The BJP does not cover up corruption,” he said and added that the Congress was “speaking a lot” on the case involving Laxman but was quiet on many other cases of corruption.
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat said Laxman should have been convicted long back as it was a “clear” case of a political leader accepting money for favours.
Karat said there was prima facie evidence in the case involving Laxman and conviction should have happened in a year.
“It also shows infirmities in our legal system,” she said.
The CPI-M leader said people wanted to know if it will take longer in cases involving corruption of crores of rupees when it had taken over a decade to bring the guilty to book in case involving a sum of one lakh rupees.
Shoma Chaudhary, managing editor of Tehelka, which in 2001 released CDs showing Laxman accepting money from an undercover journalist posing as an arms dealer, expressed satisfaction over “powerful people” being brought to book.
She said a “witchhunt was unleashed” against Tehelka following the expose.
A Delhi court Saturday awarded four years’ rigorous imprisonment to Laxman for accepting a bribe from a fake arms dealer in the graft case. The court also slapped him with a fine of Rs.1 lakh.
Newsportal tehelka.com had carried out a sting operation in 2001 that caught Laxman on camera receiving money from a journalist posing as an arms dealer. He later resigned as the BJP chief.
The CDs released by Tehelka had shown Laxman accepting money for promise of assistance to a fictitious Britain-based company M/s West End International in securing a contract for the supply of thermal imagers to the Indian Army.
- Former BJP chief Bangaru convicted for bribery, sentencing Saturday (Third Lead) - Apr 27, 2012
- Bangaru Laxman sentenced to four years' jail (Lead) - Apr 28, 2012
- Bangaru's conviction a vindication for Tehelka: Editor - Apr 27, 2012
- Former BJP chief Bangaru convicted for taking bribe (Lead) - Apr 27, 2012
- Former BJP chief Bangaru convicted for bribery, sentencing Saturday (Second Lead) - Apr 27, 2012
- Time for BJP to introspect: Congress on Bangaru conviction - Apr 27, 2012
- Sting illegal, Bangaru tells court - Sep 04, 2012
- CBI issued notice on Bangaru Laxman's appeal - May 11, 2012
- Court decision in Bangaru Laxman graft case Friday - Apr 26, 2012
- Court decision April 27 on Bangaru Laxman graft case - Apr 22, 2012
- Bangaru Laxman gets four years' jail for bribery (Second Lead) - Apr 28, 2012
- Bangaru Laxman appeals against jail term - May 09, 2012
- Bangaru Laxman convicted for taking bribe - Apr 27, 2012
- BJP was soft on Bangaru: Shanta Kumar - Apr 29, 2012
- Bangaru Laxman: A chronology of corruption case - Apr 27, 2012
Tags: alvi, bharatiya janata party, bjp, bofors gun, bribery allegations, clear case, commonwealth games, communist party of india, communist party of india marxist, crores, gun deal, introspect, italian businessman, laxman, marxist leader, party president, pesonal, political slugfest, self analysis, trade charges