The Left, along with three other parties, demanded on Thursday that the Manmohan Singh government come clean on the WikiLeaks exposé that suggested that Members of Parliament were bribed ahead of the 2008 trust vote.
The CPI said the Prime Minister and his government had no right to remain in power after this exposé.
Referring to the report in The Hindu, the leaders of these parties wondered why Dr. Singh was not present in Parliament, especially when the day was earmarked for questions for his office in the Rajya Sabha.
“The Prime Minister must come and explain. Today was his day in the Rajya Sabha and he chose not to be present,'' CPI(M) MP and Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury said at a press conference at the Parliament House attended by H.D. Deve Gowda (JD-S), D. Raja (CPI), Nama Nageswara Rao (TDP) and Shailender (SP).
The CPI (M) Polit Bureau too said The Hindu report based on the WikiLeaks cables was an additional confirmation of a well-known fact. While the “cash-for-votes'' issue had erupted in the Lok Sabha on the day of the vote itself, no action was taken after an enquiry by a Parliamentary Committee despite the trail of evidence.
It said the report sent by the U.S. Charge d'Affaires should be the basis for the filing of a First Information Report and an investigation against Satish Sharma and Nachiketa Kapur.
“The Congress leadership, including the Prime Minister, cannot escape their responsibility in this gross act of political malfeasance and bribery.''
Echoing similar views, the CPI Central Secretariat said the exposé showed the “venality” of the government. “The party feels that after an exposure of such dimensions, the Prime Minister and the UPA government have no right to remain in power.''
Rejects Pranab's argument
CPI parliamentary party leader Gurudas Dasgupta rejected the argument of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee that the issue of the 14th Lok Sabha could not be taken up in the current House. Mr. Dasgupta said criminal acts committed outside could not be brushed aside under this argument just as a murder could not be condoned after a lapse of a few years.