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On Diwali eve, Swaraj visits Kulkarni, ex-BJP MPs in Tihar

Source: PTI
October 25, 2011 17:09 IST
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Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday visited Tihar jail to meet two former party members of Parliament and L K Advani's ex-aide Sudheendra Kulkarni, currently under judicial custody in the cash-for-votes case, to express solidarity with them.

"It is the festive occasion of Diwali but our innocent people are sitting inside while the real culprits continue to rule," Swaraj told the media before she entered the jail complex in New Delhi.

The Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha said, "The least we can do is meet our people, tell them that we stand by them. It is a festive day, we can give them some sweets and let them know we care."

Former BJP MPs Mahavir Bhagora and Faggan Singh Kulaste along with Kulkarni were arrested by the Delhi police in the case related to alleged attempt to bribe MPs ahead of 2008 trust vote in Lok Sabha. BJP MP Ashok Argal is also an accused in the case.

Swaraj's visit came a day after another accused, Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, got bail in the matter on health grounds.

After the meeting, Swaraj said that her jailed party colleagues continued to be in high spirits. "One thing which gave us satisfaction is that they are in high spirits and they have told us to not worry too much about them. They also said told us that they were proud of what they had done," Swaraj told newsmen.

The BJP maintains that its MPs had acted as whistleblowers and exposed attempts to buy MPs to win the July 22, 2008 trust vote.

Advani has said if the two MPs and Kulkarni were guilty then he was even more guilty as he, in his capacity as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha at that time, had allowed them to go ahead with the sting operation.

Advani has also been calling the three MPs "whistle blowers" in his speeches during his ongoing yatra.

Swaraj had earlier also met the former MPs and Kulkarni along with party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad. "We had taken out a jagriti yatra in the tribal regions of Madhya Pradesh with two motives which we reiterate. We will expose the real culprits and we will free our innocent colleagues," Swaraj said and added that the "party stood by them like a rock".

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