Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday visited Tihar jail to meet two former party MPs and L.K. Advani’s ex-aide Sudheendra Kulkarni, currently under judicial custody in the cash-for-vote 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,” Ms. Swaraj told reporters before she entered the jail complex in New Delhi.
The Leader of the Opposition in the 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 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.
Ms. 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, Ms. 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,” Ms. Swaraj told the media.
The BJP maintains that its MPs had acted as whistleblowers and exposed attempts to buy MPs to win the July 22, 2008 trust vote.
Mr. Advani has said if the two MPs and Mr. Kulkarni were guilty then he was even more guilty as he, in his capacity as the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha at that time, had allowed them to go ahead with the sting operation.
Mr. Advani has also been calling the three MPs “whistleblowers” in his speeches during his ongoing yatra.
Ms. Swaraj had earlier also met the former MPs and Mr. 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,” Ms. Swaraj said and added that the “party stood by them like a rock”.