It’s BJP money, says Congress of currency flashed in parliament

July 22nd, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) India’s ruling Congress charged that the wads of currency notes displayed in parliament Tuesday by three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs to allege they had been bribed ahead of a crucial trust vote belonged to their own party. “Yes, that’s what I am saying,” Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan told NDTV news channel in reply to a pointed question as to whether she was saying that the money belonged to the BJP itself.

“Unless they give evidence, we can’t take them at their word,” Natarajan maintained, adding: “They are bringing parliament into disrepute.”

Pandemonium prevailed in the Lok Sabha after the three BJP MPs - Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora - advanced to the Lok Sabha secretary-general’s table and pulled wads of Rs.1,000 notes out of three leather bags. As other BJP MPs also joined them and started shouting slogans, deputy speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal walked out in disgust a little after 4 p.m.

According to BJP leader and Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani, the three MPs had been given Rs.10 million each as an “advance” to abstain from voting on the trust motion. They had been promised another Rs.80 million each after the vote, he added.

Advani’s remarks came soon after the Lok Sabha was adjourned.

Urging Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to order an enquiry into the episode, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu alleged his party MPs had been threatened by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Income Tax officials for not supporting the confidence motion.

He also criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the alleged horse trading that had gone on ahead of the trust vote.

“It is very unfortunate and shameful for the nation. This type of manipulation is bad for democracy,” Naidu said, adding the prime minister should own moral responsibility for the episode.

“The world’s biggest democracy is being murdered. It is high time that the prime minister answers,” Naidu maintained.

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