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Cash for vote: Probe panel calls BJP MPs on Aug 4

July 30, 2008 16:53 IST

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Complete coverage: The trust vote

The parliamentary panel probing the "cash-for-vote" scam on Wednesday decided to summon on August 4 the three Bharatiya Janata Party members of Parliament who made the charge during last week's trust vote, to record their statements and gather evidence from them.

The enquiry committee headed by senior Congress member V Kishore Chandra Deo held its first meeting on Wednesday and also decided to see the video footage of the sting operation of the entire episode.

The committee, however, has no say on telecasting the video footage by a television channel which recorded it.

"I have no power to withhold the tape or allow its screening. The TV channel is free to air," Deo told reporters when asked whether the committee would allow screening of the sting operation before the panel completes its probe.

Asked whether the committee could summon Rajya Sabha members allegedly named by the BJP MPs Ashok Argal, Fagan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora, Deo said the panel has no power and it could send the request through the Speaker to the other House.

To a question whether the panel would be able to complete the task before August 11 deadline, he said, "We do not want to waste time. We will try to do our best. But we are not going to hasten to give an incomplete report."

Asked to comment on the BJP's demand for broad-basing the committee, Deo said it was for the Speaker to decide. "It is not a United Progressive Alliance versus National Democratic Alliance thing. We have always worked in a non-partisan manner."

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