Cash-for-votes WikiLeaks: Opposition targets PM in Parliament

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New Delhi:  The Opposition today continued its assault on the government over the latest WikiLeaks cable on the cash-for-votes scandal.

In a stinging attack on Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said, "The PM is accountable...he can't keep putting blame on others."  (Read: Govt says BJP stage-managed cash-for-votes scam)

Swaraj said the investigation into the cash-for-votes scandal was moving at a snail's pace and there has not been much progress in the three years after the case was registered.

On the Prime Minister's contention that correspondence between the US Embassy and its government in Washington was "speculative, unverified and unverifiable", the BJP leader said it amounted to "turning a blind eye to the truth".

She asked why an Embassy official would name any minister or anybody else unnecessarily. "Did he have any enmity with the minister?"

The WikiLeaks cable states that the Congress bought MPs ahead of its vote of confidence in 2008 over the nuclear deal with the US.  But in a statement in Parliament last week, Dr Singh said there was no reason to believe that the cable was authentic, and that the Indian players mentioned in them have challenged the facts stated within. (Read - WikiLeaks: Congress bought MPs for trust vote over nuclear deal)

The BJP has alleged that the PM "misled" the House by claiming that MPs were not bribed during the July 2008 trust vote even though the Parliamentary probe committee said that money was paid. 

Terming the PM's statement on WikiLeaks expose as disappointing, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, "Wikileaks cables are verifiable under law". "Efforts are being made to cover up the truth, he added.

"Does electibility or populism condone criminality?" asked Jaitley in response to Dr Singh's argument that UPA-I won the confidence motion in July 2008 with 275 votes in its favour and 256 against it.

Revelations by WikiLeaks of Congress buying MPs to win the vote-of-confidence over the crucial Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008 unleashed a high-volume new political controversy.

Three BJP MPs walked into the Lok Sabha with cash that they said added upto three crores.  They claimed that that they had been offered this money to vote for the nuclear deal and had planned a sting operation to prove this.

A Lok Sabha committee, headed by  Congress MP KCS Deo, was set up to examine their allegations, but found that there was no evidence of the BJP's claims. Mr Deo told NDTV that he does not believe the WikiLeaks revelation merits a re-examination of what transpired. (Read & watch: Cash-for-votes cables are authentic, Assange tells NDTV)


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