BJP MP a veteran of sting operations

July 22nd, 2008 - 7:59 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Faggan Singh Kulaste, one of the three BJP MPs alleging they were offered bribes to support the government and offering tapes of a sting operation as proof, has himself been stung in a television channel’s undercover operation before. In December 2005, the STAR News aired footage, titled ‘Operation Chakravyuh’, purportedly showing parliamentarians discussing kickbacks to release officials funds for developing their constituencies.

The channel claimed its reporters were able to obtain assurances from seven MPs that they would provide money from the MPs Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme to fake NGOs for a “commission”.

Three of the MPs were from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and one each from the Congress, Samajwadi Party, bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Rashtriya Kranti Dal.

Among the MPs accused of seeking money was Faggan Singh Kulaste of the BJP (Mandla-Madhya Pradesh in the Lok Sabha).

According to the channel, funding of Rs.1 million was sought from Kulaste, a former central minister of state for tribal and parliamentary affairs, and the commission was fixed at 30 percent.

In March 2006, Kulaste, along with three other MPs, won reprieve when the parliamentary privileges committee gave them the benefit of doubt and recommended they be reprimanded and suspended for a week till the end of first leg of the budget session.

The committee headed by V. Kishore Chandra S. Deo noted that the conduct of none of the four members “was above board and they need to be handed out appropriate punishment”. But it gave them the benefit of doubt to them saying the “improper conduct” on their part “did not strictly speaking relate to their parliamentary duties and none of the members was actually shown as accepting the money”.

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