Sushma stands by her ‘conspiracy’ statement

July 30th, 2008 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj Wednesday said she tood by her statement that the serial bombings in Bangalore and Ahmedabad last week were a “conspiracy to divert attention from the cash-for-votes scandal”. “I stand by what I said earlier. It was a personal remark made by me and was not a part of the NDA (BJP-led National Democratic Alliance) briefing. I still firmly stand by what I said,” she told reporters here.

Sushma Swaraj created a political storm with her statement Monday that the terror attacks were a conspiracy to divert attention from the scandal over allegations of bribe offers to MPs to save the government in the trust vote. She pointed fingers at the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for the bomb blasts.

While leaders of the BJP and other NDA parties kept mum, Swaraj categorically reiterated she firmly stood by her statement.

Swaraj Monday said: “Attacks in the two BJP-ruled states in a span of two days and within four days of the UPA government winning the trust vote has some meaning, and what I am saying is proved by enough circumstantial evidence.”

In Bangalore, eight bomb blasts ripped through the city last Friday, killing one woman and injuring seven. A day later, 21 bombs went off in Ahmedabad, killing 51 people and injuring over 200. Both Karnataka and Gujarat are BJP-ruled states.

Asked if she was pointing fingers at the Manmohan Singh government as being behind the blasts, she said: “I have said what I wanted, it is for you all to interpret the rest.”

On July 22 when the Lok Sabha was debating the confidence motion, three BJP MPs - Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora - alleged that Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel had bribed them to abstain from the crucial floor test.

The three waved wads of currency notes in the house and alleged they were offered Rs.90 million each to abstain during the trust vote and were paid an advance of Rs.10 million each.

While both Amar Singh and Patel denied the charge, a seven-member parliamentary committee has been formed to probe the allegation.

Swaraj said the blasts were an “attempt to win over the Muslim votes after the pro-American deal pursued by the government” - referring to the India-US civil nuclear deal.

The Congress Party slammed her statement, describing it as “irresponsible”.

“The BJP has lost its mental balance. What they said was shameful. First, they lowered the dignity of the Lok Sabha by bringing in cash, and now they are maligning the entire country by making such irresponsible statements,” Congress party spokesperson Manish Tewari said, responding to Swaraj’s allegation Monday.

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