Legislator complains to police in ‘cash for vote’ caseMarch 21st, 2008 - 6:45 pm ICT by admin
Bhopal, March 21 (IANS) The Madhya Pradesh Police Friday recorded the statement of Samajwadi Party legislator Kishore Samrite who has alleged that opposition party members are trying to bribe him to vote for an independent candidate in the upcoming poll to the upper house of parliament. Two legislators from the state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have also written to the Election Commission (EC), alleging that Samrite was offered money to vote for Vivek Tankha.
Samrite said in his statement to the police: “A bribe of Rs.2.5 million was offered by the Congress party leaders including Tankha, Leader of the Opposition Jamuna Devi, Congress MLA Rajendra Singh and former minister N.P. Prajapati, for voting in favour of Tankha in the Rajya Sabha polls. They even sent Rs.1 million as advance to my residence.”
“I have also told the police that March 14 evening, I was taken from vidhan sabha (state assembly) to Congress president Suresh Pachouri’s residence in Jamuna Devi’s car and later the Samajwadi Party’s state president Narain Tripathi with another party leader Arjun Palia went in Pachouri’s chartered plane to Delhi. I have urged them (police) to verify the facts,” Samrite told IANS.
Samrite told the police that Jamuna Devi had called a meeting of all opposition MLAs in her assembly office March 12 to discuss issues related to the assembly but instead talked about supporting Tankha in the polls scheduled for March 26.
BJP lawmakers Uma Shankar Gupta and Jitendra Singh Bundela repeated most of the allegations in their letter to the EC, sent Thursday night.
Four candidates are in the fray for the three Rajya Sabha seats from Madhya Pradesh. Each requires the votes of 58 legislators to reach the upper house.
Going by the numbers, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to send two members to Rajya Sabha. The BJP has 166 MLAs in the 230-member assembly and needs eight more votes to win all three seats.
The Congress requires 17 extra votes to ensure the victory of Tankha.
The controversy surrounding Samrite broke out Tuesday night when he informed the media about Rs.1 million being offered to him as advance by former minister and Congress leader N.P. Prajapati to vote in favour of Tankha.
The Samajwadi Party suspended Samrite within 24 hours of his making the allegation but said that it should not be linked to the exposure of the alleged attempt.
“Samrite was suspended from the party for indiscipline and it had nothing to do with exposing an alleged bribery by the Congress for voting in favour of Tankha in the Rajya Sabha elections,” said party state president Narayan Tripathi.
Describing the whole case as a conspiracy of the BJP, Tripathi said: “If it was not so, why was the government hesitant to go in for a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) probe?” he asked.
Tankha has threatened legal action against Samrite, saying: “I had recommended legal action against Samrite when I was advocate-general during the previous Congress government”.