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Can't expel tainted MPs: BJP
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | December 22, 2005 12:58 IST
Last Updated: December 22, 2005 15:26 IST
The Pawan Bansal committee has recommended expulsion of all the 10 members of the Lok Sabha who were caught taking money during operation Duryodhan launched by Cobrapost.com and which was telecast by television news channel Aaj Tak.
In a 36-page report four out of the five members of the committee namely Pawan Bansal, chairman, Mohammed Salim, Ram Gopal Yadav and C Kuppusami favoured expulsion of the members of Parliament, while Vijay Kumar Malhotra of the Bharatiya Janata Party attached a dissenting note separately.
The committee that held eight meetings before reaching the conclusion spoke to Anniruddha Bahal and Suhasini Raj extensively about each MP and how they went about doing the recording. All 10 members claimed they were not guilty and had been framed.
"In view of the foregoing discussions, the committee feelS that howsoever harsh it may sound, the continuance of these members as the members of the Lok Sabha will be untenable.
"The committee accordingly recommended that the House may consider the expulsion of the following 10 members from the membership of the 14th Lok Sabha," the committee noted. Copies of the recommendations that were tabled on the floor of the House on Thursday afternoon were made available to mediapersons.
"In view of the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, the committee are of the opinion that the allegations of accepting money by the said 10 members have been established. The committee further notes that it is difficult to escape the conclusion that accepting money had a direct connection with the work of Parliament," the committee noted.
Hence, the committee felt that such conduct of the said membeers was unbecoming of MPs and also unethical while recommending strict action amounting to expulsion from the House of all 10 members under scruitny.
Noted advocate R K Anand of the Congress party felt that the House had the power to accept the recommendations of the fact finding committee headed by Pawan Bansal and the affected members could approach the court for remedial action.
BJP MP Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who gave a dissenting note and wanted the matter to be referred to the privileges committee, said that this was also the decision of the BJP and the concerned members had been denied the right to defend themselves.
"They pleaded that they were not guilty and the tapes had been doctored. But no opportunity was given to them to bring in their lawyers to defend them. Under the privileges committee, this can be done and only a member who has breached the privileges could be expelled. A lot is being said about the H D Mudgal case. He was forced to resign after he was caught. But he was given full opportunity to defend himself before action was taken against him. This does not mean that we are providing an escape route to the MPs who have indulged in corruption. We want strict action, but only after all the laid procedures have been gone through," he said.
Amar Singh of the Samajwadi Party and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh Yadav said that the dissenting note attached by Malhotra has exposed the BJP.
"BJP stands in the front rank of corruption. They said they were a party with a difference because they all indulge in corruption. The party which Lal Kishenchand Advani had so painstakingly built is asking him, "Maar Diya Jaye Ya Chod Diya Jaye. Bol Advani Tera saath Kya Salook Kiya Jaye?" (Should they be killed or allowed to go? You tell us Advani what needs to be done?) Amar Singh asked with a mischevious smile on his face.