The “cash-for- votes” scam of 2008 has come to the fore again following revelations by the WikiLeaks published by The Hindu.
During the confidence vote taken by the government on July 22, 2008, 26 MPs defied the whip of their parties and sided with the opposite camp; of these, 19 belonged to the Opposition parties and seven to the government side.
The bulk of the defiant Opposition MPs was from the Bharatiya Janata Party – four members of the principal Opposition voted for the government and four others abstained; of the remaining Opposition members, two each were from the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Telugu Desam and the Janata Dal (United), and one each from the Shiv Sena, the Janata Dal (Secular), the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, the Akali Dal, and Biju Janata Dal.
Of the seven from the government side who voted against the government, six were from the Samajwadi Party. The seventh was Congress member Kuldeep Bishnoi, who had a running battle with the party.
The 39-member Samajwadi Party, which had been giving only outside support to the government after the 2004 general election, was actively backing the government after the Left withdrew support.