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Cash-for-vote panel summons BJP activist

R Prema in New Delhi | August 12, 2008 20:01 IST

Sohail Raja Hindustani, who has been summoned by the Parliamentary panel probing the "cash-for-votes" scam on August 18, is the man who got the three Bharatiya Janata Party MPs talk to Samajwadi Party leaders Amar Singh [Images] and Reoti Raman Singh before the trust vote in the Lok Sabha.

He is an activist of the Bhartiya Yuva [Images] Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP. The panel wants to ascertain if he had actually masterminded the operation to trap Amar Singh and the BJP MPs acted as per his plan.

Sohail not only organised the meeting of the BJP MPs with the Samajwadi Party leaders but also also used his media contacts to bring in the CNN-IBN news channel to conduct the sting operation on the episode.

The Parliamentary panel decided to summon him after the CNN-IBN team told it that Sohail was also present at the residence of Madhya Pradesh [Images] BJP MP Ashok Argal on July 21 when the three MPs met Samajwadi Party MP Reoti Raman Singh at his instance and followed it up with a meeting with Amar Singh the next morning.

Reoti Raman Singh, who has also been summoned next Monday by the panel, had landed at Argal's residence around midnight on July 21 and his conversation with the three BJP MPs is on the CNN-IBN tapes that recorded it with two hidden cameras installed in the room.

Unlike Sanjiv Saxena, the alleged carrier of money from Amar Singh's residence to that that of Argal who has to also depose on Monday, Sohail has kept a low profile since the time the scam shocked the nation.

The Parliamentary panel has already summoned journalist Sudheendra Kulkarni on Monday, who is very close to BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani [Images], on the basis of his admission that he was present all through the sting operation.

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