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Congress demands probe

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: The Congress on Friday sought a probe into the role of the Leader of the Opposition, L.K. Advani, and the Chief Ministers of three States ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the alleged bribery scandal involving Members of Parliament in the run-up to the vote of confidence earlier this week. The high drama in Parliament over three BJP MPs being given currency notes that day was carried out with the knowledge of Mr. Advani in violation of all parliamentary norms, the party charged.

“There should be two enquiries into the whole episode. First one could probe into the source of the money offered and the other, the involvement of Mr. Advani and the Chief Ministers of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in organizing such a scene in the august House just before the reply by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the motion of confidence,” said Mohan Prakash, Congress spokesperson, here.

“If Mr. Advani genuinely cared for exposing corrupt practices and attempts to win over MPs with the lure of money he could have informed the Speaker or could have even addressed the media outside the House,” Mr. Prakash pointed out. The role of the Chief Ministers was also suspect as they were called to Delhi prior to the special session of Parliament and were part of the strategies, he noted.

“As such, the BJP, which used to claim that it was a party with a difference, has one of its every 10 MPs facing action from the party organization on corruption charges. Out of the 130 MPs the party has, 13 have been removed after their facing serious corruption charges,” Mr. Prakash said.

While the party expelled eight MPs after the vote of confidence, another five had been removed earlier, he observed.

Earlier, the party president Bangaru Laxman had to quit after getting caught on camera taking money. Faggan Singh Kulaste, one of the three MPs who waved wads of currency notes alleging attempts at bribing them, was earlier suspended for misuse of the MP Local Area Development funds, Mr. Prakash pointed out. It was not for the first time for the MP from Rajasthan, Mahaveer Bhagora, as well for he was in the past involved in an attempt to destabilize the party’s own Government in the State led by Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, he said.

Mr. Prakash challenged the secular credentials of the constituent parties of the United National Progressive Alliance. “Once Jayalalithaa used to head it and then it was Mulayam Singh Yadav. They have both left the group now and Mayawati, who aligned with the BJP to form three governments in Uttar Pradesh, is the Prime Ministerial candidate for the formation,” he said.

“The Left is critical of the foreign policy pursued by the United Progressive Alliance Government but Ms. Mayawati’s party does not have even a policy paper, not to speak on any foreign policy stand,” Mr. Prakash said.

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