Lok Sabha panel views CDs on cash-for-votes scam

August 4th, 2008 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) A seven-member Lok Sabha panel, constituted to look into three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs’ allegation that they were bribed to abstain during the July 22 trust vote, Monday viewed audio and video tapes of a TV channel’s sting operation that allegedly filmed the bribery negotiations. The committee, headed by Congress MP V. Kishore Chandra Deo, will take the statements of the three MPs during its third meeting Thursday.

“We watched the audio and video tapes today. We have asked the Lok Sabha secretariat to make a transcript (for the panel members),” Deo told reporters after watching the tapes for nearly three hours.

He also said that the panel has asked the CNN-IBN, the television channel which had conducted the sting operation, to send its representative for giving evidence during its meeting on Aug 11.

The committee, formed by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, is expected to submit its report by Aug 11. However, Deo has said he would not make any report in a hurry.

The three MPs, Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora, who July 22 evening stunned the nation by brandishing wads of cash in the Lok Sabha shortly before the Manmohan Singh government was to face the trust vote, had accused Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel of offering them bribes to abstain.

The BJP has claimed that the three MPs were offered Rs.30 million each and had been paid Rs.10 million each as advance.

Singh and Patel, both Rajya Sabha MPs, have denied the allegation.

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