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Another cash-for-votes CD surfaces

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | August 04, 2008 14:52 IST
Last Updated: August 04, 2008 15:28 IST

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Another CD on the cash-for-votes episode surfaced on Monday with three United Progressive Alliance parties claiming that the Bharatiya Janata Party had stage managed the entire show for political gains.

"All the claims of BJP leaders have been proved wrong," Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav [Images] said while releasing the CD at a joint press conference with Rashtriya Janata Dal and Lok Janashakti Party leaders Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan in New Delhi [Images].

"When some people visited the BJP MPs' house to deliver the money why was it not handed over to the police. Fingerprinting tests could have led to some evidence," Mulayam Singh said.

The entire incident was "cooked up" by the BJP to make it a poll issue in the next elections. The total number of CDs in circulation on cash-for-votes scandal has now gone up to three. Paswan also said the entire episode was a drama enacted by the BJP.

After the BJP took the media for a ride on Sunday and did not show any video and instead released a 17-page letter, on Monday it was the turn of Lalu Prasad, Ram Vilas Paswan, Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh [Images] to excel in this field.

In the morning word had spread in the media that another video would be shown, which would nail the BJP leadership and their claims that Amar Singh and Uma Barati had planted a video with the sole motive of maligning the BJP by alleging that it was BJP, which had masterminded the operation.

The mediapersons landed at Paswan's house where they were shown excepts from another channel which had been hired by another political party to do a sting operation on Rajdeep Sardesai's CNNIBN.

"We demand that all the three MPs who brought Rs 1 crore to Parliament namely Ashok Argal, Phagan Singh Kuleste (who is known for taking money) and Mahavir Bhagroa undergo a narco test in the presence of mediapersons," Lalu Prasad Yadav [Images] told a journalist after a poor quality video was shown to the media under great fanfare.

"If I am guilty, then Mulayam Singh would not need to expel me, I would quit the party myself," said Amar Singh who was on defensive. He thanked Arun Jaitley for exposing his proximity to the former by talking in detail about him.

Amar Singh charged that Sanjeev Saxena used to work for Shahid Siddiqui [Images] and that he shared the room with Saneev Sexena (who tendered his resignation from the company for which he was working) as he felt that he could have better prospects while working for Siddiqui who until July 19 was a member of Samajwadi Party and on July 20 switched sides and went over to Mawavati.

"It is true that Saxena used to send press conference messages on my behalf on a voluntary basis and the last message was sent on July 20, but he was not my employee. He helped as he had the time," Amar Singh added.

The BJP and Amar Singh have one thing in common on the CD issue. They both lambasted Rajdeep Sardesai for withholding the contents of the sting operation and not airing it on television.

Amar Singh said that if Sanjeev Saxena was his man, then why did he meet Jaitley and Kulsate time and again after the confidence vote.

"He could not have carried the same bag as it had been handed over to BJP leader. I want to know why Sanjeev Saxena was not nabbed by the Madhya Pradesh [Images] police who was present when Saxena gave the money. Another television channel who was investigating the whole thing independently when confronted Bhagora, the latter showed them a empty bag and said that he had got no money. The operation was masterminded by Arun Jaitley," Amar Singh alleged.

All the UPA leaders who were present at hurriedly convened press conference said that BJP played tricks as they knew that they were losing the confidence despite buying eight MPs of the SP.

"Sanjeev has made a confessional statement and handed over the same to the speaker," Lalu Prasad said.

Additional Reportage: PTI

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