Staff Correspondent

She refuses to resign as MP until the allegations made by certain BJP leaders are proved

Udupi: Manorama Madhwaraj, MP, who has been expelled from the Bharatiya Janata Party, on Thursday urged Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to recommend to the Union Government to order a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the allegations made by certain BJP leaders that she had taken money to abstain from the trust vote moved by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Lok Sabha on July 22.

Addressing presspersons here, Ms. Madhwaraj said that she had written a letter to the Chief Minister in this regard.

She said that the setting up of 1,015 MW coal-based Udupi Thermal Power Project (formerly known as Nagarjuna Thermal Power Project) at Yellur in Udupi district was being strongly opposed by the people in her constituency as it would damage the environment and affect fish in the Arabian Sea. This was a serious problem, which she had opposed since she became a MP, she said.

Change of tune

Before the BJP came to power in the State, almost all the BJP leaders opposed the thermal power project. But they had all changed tune and started supporting it. “But I did not fall for the inducements offered to support the project and have opposed it steadfast, despite the fact it would affect me politically,” she said.

Ms. Madhwaraj said that earlier she too had reservations about the Hyde Act. But a letter by Ram Jethmalani, MP, giving details about the nuclear agreement, made her realise that it was beneficial for the country. It was better to have power from nuclear plants than from the highly polluting coal-based thermal power plants.

The nuclear deal would solve the power problem of the country with minimal pollution when compared to the coal-based thermal power plants, she said.. “I had made it clear to BJP general secretary H.N. Ananth Kumar on July 22 that I will be abstaining in the House. However, since allegations have been made, a CBI probe will reveal the truth. I do not want the people to harbour suspicions about me,” she said.

Not quitting

In reply to a question, she said that she would not resign as MP unless the allegations against were investigated and the truth revealed. She said that the letter of expulsion had reached her New Delhi residence. To a query, she said it was the Vajpayee Government which took the preliminary steps for the nuclear agreement.

She said that the three BJP MPs showing wads of cash on the floor of the Lok Sabha appeared to be “stage-managed.” Mr. Singh is a good and intelligent person with the best interests of the nation in his heart,” she added.