BJP files complaint

Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday filed a formal complaint with Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on the issue of the alleged bribing of three of its MPs ahead of the trust vote in the House on July 22.

A senior BJP leader involved in drafting the complaint told The Hindu that the names of Amar Singh and Ahmed Patel, political secretary to the Congress president, figure in the complaint.

Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh reiterated at a press conference that he would “quit public life if there was any evidence of his offering or giving money to any MP.”

On a day when charges were traded by the BJP and the SP, the BJP claimed there was video-footage to support the complaint. Mr. Amar Singh challenged the party to produce the video. He said that after the former BJP president, Bangaru Laxman, was caught on camera accepting cash, “the BJP has no credibility whatsoever so far as fighting corruption is concerned.” Mr. Singh said he hoped for a quick inquiry so that the truth can be established.

Mr. Singh denounced the BJP for getting Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs to resign their seats just a day after they were elected in the recent Karnataka Assembly elections. “On the day after the results were announced they [the MPs] got their certificates declaring them duly elected, the next day they resigned, and the day after they were inducted as Ministers in the Yeddyurappa government. That, according to the BJP, was not a bribe or an inducement,” he said.

He said six SP MPs had also cross-voted. “Was it the BJP’s case that they too were bribed? By whom?” he asked.

Asked whether his party MPs would be joining the government, Mr. Singh said this question should be posed to his party president Mulayam Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi. “We are not here to create stumbling blocks for the government.”

Asked whether he would file a defamation suit against the BJP as he had said after the trust vote, Mr. Singh said: “We have won, No need for a suit. A tree laden with fruit gets stones thrown at it [to bring down the fruit].”

The complaint was handed over to the secretary general of the Lok Sabha P.D.T. Achary as the Speaker was not in his office. It has been written jointly by the three MPs who had waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha on July 22 alleging the money was given to them by the SP to secure their votes.

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