Lalu asks Bardhan to apologise for remark on MPs

July 19th, 2008 - 9:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) Joining his friends in the Congress in attacking the Left parties, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Saturday asked Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan to prove his allegation of MPs being bought over for the July 22 trust motion or to apologise. Terming Bardhan’s remarks as “nasty”, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader, one of the strongest allies of the Congress in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), said: “Bardhanji has harmed the reputation of all parties with his comments. He has said a very nasty thing.”

Bardhan had alleged that horse-trading was taking place to “purchase” MPs to vote in favour of the government and said the prevailing price of an MP was Rs.250 million.

“He should prove his allegations. Or he should apologise,” Lalu Prasad told reporters after a meeting of the RJD parliamentary party at his home here.

The RJD meeting was attended by 21 of its 24 MPs. Party leaders said Sitaram Yadav, MP from Sitamarhi, was absent due to personal reasons.

“All the RJD MPs will vote for the UPA in the trust vote,” Lalu Prasad said.

Two MPs - Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav (Madhepura) and Mohammed Shahabuddin (Siwan) - who are in prison will be brought to parliament after taking permission from the courts to cast their vote in the trust motion.

Exuding confidence, the railway minister said the UPA will get 291 votes in the 543-member Lok Sabha.

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