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Updated: August 30, 2009 02:00 IST

Cash-for-vote sting not stage-managed: Kulkarni

PTI
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BJP MPs show wads of currency, allegedly given to them to switch sides, during the special session of the the Lok Sabha on July 22, 2008. File photo: PTI/Lok Sabha TV
BJP MPs show wads of currency, allegedly given to them to switch sides, during the special session of the the Lok Sabha on July 22, 2008. File photo: PTI/Lok Sabha TV

In the wake of the accusation that senior BJP leader L.K. Advani and his aide Sudheendra Kulkarni were involved in the cash-for-vote sting operation, the latter on Saturday clarified that it was not “stage-managed.”

“Do not regret”

“I do not regret my own participation in the attempt to expose this scandal through a sting operation carried out by a reputed television channel. I wish to categorically state that the cash that was displayed in Parliament by the three BJP MPs did not come from the BJP,” Mr. Kulkarni said in a statement.

Rather, he said, the cash was paid to them “by the very same elements which were trying to ensure the UPA government’s survival.” He, however, did not name anyone.

The statement came in the wake of the expelled BJP leader, Jaswant Singh, accusing Mr. Advani and Mr. Kulkarni of complicity in the sting operation.

“Wrong to fault Advani”

Stating that he was “saddened” by “unnecessary and negative” mention of Mr. Advani in this episode, Mr. Kulkarni said: “It is absolutely wrong to fault Mr. Advani in this episode.”

Mr. Kulkarni maintained that he had “committed no crime and no act of immorality” by taking part in the sting.

“I played no role in arranging the bribe money, as has been insinuated in some media reports. My role was that of a facilitator in the whistle-blowing operation,” he clarified.

Mr. Kulkarni said that though he was no longer with the BJP, he was willing to face any “fair inquiry.”

He believed that the party did the right thing by attempting to expose the “shameful scandal.”

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