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BJP to file complaint with Speaker today

Neena Vyas

A reminder sent to 3 MPs, says Lok Sabha Secretary-General

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday will file a complaint with Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, stating that a Samajwadi Party functionary offered bribe to three of its MPs for cross-voting during the trust vote in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

BJP leader V.K. Malhotra said the MPs would file a joint complaint, which was being readied with the help of lawyers.

Lok Sabha Secretary-General P.D.T. Achary told The Hindu that a reminder was sent to the MPs — Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora — telling them that the Speaker’s office was yet to receive a written complaint from them. He said only “after a formal complaint is received further action can be taken.”

After the three MPs displayed wads of currency in the Lok Sabha, a meeting of party leaders was called by the Speaker in his chamber.

In the presence of leaders of other parties and Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani, the Speaker made it clear that he wanted a formal written complaint. This was agreed upon. He also told Mr. Advani that he disapproved of the manner in which cash was displayed, bringing disrepute to Parliament as a whole.

The video tapes handed over to the Speaker’s office by CNN IBN on Wednesday evening have been kept in safe custody of the Lok Sabha Secretary-General.

A Lok Sabha official said it was up to the Speaker to initiate action. Normally, the procedure involves the setting up of a parliamentary committee to look into the matter.

Sources in the Lok Sabha said that “the criminal offence in the case would have to be dealt with by police — as has happened in the human trafficking case involving now expelled BJP MP Babubhai Katara — but the issues of privilege would be dealt with by the parliamentary committee.”

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