PM on Wiki disclosures: I have not authorised anyone to purchase votes

March 18th, 2011 - 12:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) He had not authorised anyone to purchase any votes, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clarified Friday, a day after he came under attack for alleged disclosures on WikiLeaks that his government had bought MPs ahead of the 2008 trust vote.

“I have no knowledge of any such purchases. I have not authorised anyone to purchase any votes. I am not aware of any act of purchasing any votes,” the prime minister said at the India Today conclave.

He said he was “absolutely certain” that he was not involved in “any of these transactions”.

US diplomatic cables leaked on WikiLeaks and published by The Hindu newspaper Thursday purportedly say that payoffs had been made to MPs to ensure a majority for the Congress-led government in the confidence vote over the India-US nuclear deal in 2008.

Nachiketa Kapur, a political aide of Congress leader Satish Sharma, is quoted in the leaked cables as saying that a fund of Rs.50 crore had been formed to pay MPs.

According to the leaked cable: “Sharma’s political aide mentioned to an embassy staff member in an aside on July 16 that Ajit Singh’s (Rashtriya Lok Dal) RLD had been paid Rs.10 crore for each of their four MPs to support the government.”

“Kapur showed the embassy employee two chests containing cash and said that around Rs.50-60 crore was lying around the house for use as pay-offs.”

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