We have evidence of bribing: Karat (Lead)

July 22nd, 2008 - 7:17 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Prakash Karat said Tuesday the Left parties had the “evidence, including the date, time and other records” of the alleged bribing of three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs to abstain from the trust vote. He said barring the Left parties, all the allies of the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) had been offered money. “We have the evidence, including the date, time and other records.”

“This is a mockery of parliament… The Lok Sabha should immediately take action against this,” Karat said.

He termed as “shameful” the display in parliament of bundles of money by BJP MPs who alleged the government’s supporters had attempted to bribe them ahead of a crucial trust vote.

“It is against all parliamentary norms,” Karat told reporters shortly after the Lok Sabha was adjourned following the three BJP MPs - Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora - displaying wads of Rs.1,000 notes in the house.

“What has happened is shameful…we have to save democracy,” said Karat, whose CPI-M and three other Left parties withdrew support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, prompting the trust vote.

Karat, however, did not seem surprised at the bribery charge, saying: “Attempts have been made in the past 48 hours to win over opposition MPs.”

“No, I can’t give any details,” he replied in response to a question as to who he thought the bribe-givers were.

According to BJP leader 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 promised another Rs.20 million each after the vote.

Advani’s remarks came soon after the Lok Sabha was adjourned at a little after 4 p.m.

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