Pushing its probe into the cash-for-votes scam, Delhi Police on Monday separately questioned Samajwadi Party MP Rewati Raman Singh and BJP MP Ashok Argal, both of whom gave divergent statements on the issue.
Mr. Singh, who is accused of having played a mediator’s role in the purported bribery attempt in 2008, was questioned for about 90 minutes by the Crime Branch officials to ascertain whether he was connected with the issue or not, police sources said.
Sources said 68-year-old Singh told police that Mr. Argal, who was allegedly sought to be bribed, had approached him saying that he and two other BJP MPs wanted to join SP as they feared that BJP would deny seat to them due to delimitation of constituencies.
Mr. Singh, the Lok Sabha member from Allahabad, later told reporters that he told police what he told the Parliamentary panel which looked into the scam.
“I have told them what I have told the Parliamentary panel. The case is before Supreme Court now. I want the conspiracy behind the episode exposed,” he said.
Hours later, police questioned Mr. Argal who countered Mr. Singh’s contention, saying it was the other way round, the sources said.
He claimed that Mr. Singh had approached him and that the SP MP will have to explain what he was doing at his house in the midnight of July 21 and 22, 2008.
42-year-old Argal questioned why he would join Congress or SP as claimed by Rewati Raman. “I will die as a BJP worker. My father was jailed for 19 months during Emergency. Then why should I join Congress or SP? No such question arises,” he said.
Mr. Argal said he appeared before the police responding to a summons and expected that the probe will be on the right track. “I am being questioned after police gave a clean chit to Congress and SP leaders. After the probe, the truth will prevail,” he said.
The questioning of Mr. Singh comes three days after his former party colleague Mr. Amar Singh was questioned by the investigators. Two persons Mr. Sanjeev Saxena, former aide of Mr. Amar Singh, and Mr. Sohail Hindustani, an alleged go-between Mr. Amar Singh and BJP sought to be bribed, were arrested after quizzing.
The aim of questioning is to ask Mr.Singh about the telephone call he received from Mr. Hindustani on the midnight of July 21 and 22 to strike a deal to buy BJP MPs and to know why he went to the house of Mr. Argal as alleged by the other side, a senior police official said.
The probe in the three-year-old scam gathered momentum last week after the Supreme Court came down heavily on Delhi Police for its “callous” investigations in the case.