Advani, Naidu behind money drama: Lagadapati

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Special Correspondent

Charge levelled against SP leader termed baseless

‘Numbers were always on the side of UPA’

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VIJAYAWADA: Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu and leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L. K. Advani “masterminded” the commotion that took place in the Lok Sabha just before the voting on the trust motion, alleged Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal on Thursday.

Participating in ‘Meet-the-press’ conducted by the Vijayawada Press Club, Mr. Rajagopal said the numbers were always on the side of the UPA and it was very clear on the day before the voting on the confidence motion itself that the UPA had enough number of MPs to win the vote, even without the support of the Left. This was highlighted by the media too. Under these circumstances, Mr. Naidu and Mr. Advani came up with the “money drama” to create disturbance in the House, the MP alleged.

‘Story unconvincing’

Unfortunately for them, they could not “concoct” a story that was convincing, Mr. Rajagopal said. The claim that all the three MPs were together offered the comparatively small amount of Rs. 1 crore to abstain from voting was itself unconvincing, he said.

It was ridiculous to allege that Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh had offered money to the BJP MPs to abstain from voting.

There was no way Mr. Singh, who had just thrown out six of his own MPs, could pay money to three BJP MPs to abstain. “Why would he (Amar Singh) send away the three BJP MPs who come to his house? It would have been easier for him to lock them up and release them after the voting time. Nobody would have bothered because the three MPs went to Amar Singh’s place on their own,” Mr. Rajagopal argued.

The MP said the UPA supported the nuclear deal in the interest of the nation and not because it would help consolidate its political position. AICC president Sonia Gandhi refused the Prime Minister’s post on two occasions and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had set it aside once, he pointed out to drive home the point that they were not hankering for power.

The Telugu Desam Party had lost two MPs in its endeavour to oppose the nuclear deal. “One of our MPs wanted to leave without voting and nobody stopped him. But it was not the same with the Opposition.

Attempts were made to physically stop them. TDP MP Manda Jagannadham said he voted in favour of the UPA because his own partymen would not trust him. Just because he is a dalit, he should not be suspected,” Mr. Rajagopal said.



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