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Thursday, March 24, 2011

PM rubbishes 'cash-for-votes' charges in Parliament

By Babu Ram-New Delhi: Rejecting as "wild" the charges that bribe was paid during the 2008 Confidence Motion, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took on the Opposition for creating hue and cry over diplomatic communications, saying it was a "dangerous" thing to do.

In an uncharacteristic combative manner, Singh particularly targeted L K Advani, saying the BJP leader thought becoming Prime Minister was his "birth right" and hence had never "forgiven me". He asked Advani to wait for three-and-a-half years for his chance.

Replying to a short duration debate in both Houses of Parliament over his statement on the WikiLeaks documents, first accessed by 'The Hindu' daily, Singh said the government could not verify the authenticity of correspondence between the US Embassy here and its government in Washington.

Referring to the probe by a Parliament's Committee in 2008 into allegations of 'cash-for-votes' scam, the Prime Minister said it had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove that money was paid to purchase MPs.

"I am convinced that taking the report as a whole, this is a correct inference," Singh said, winding up the debate during which he came under sharp attack from the Opposition which even questioned why he continued to be the Prime Minister if was "not aware" of developments involving his government.

"I leave it to the good sense of this House to decide for itself whether the report of the Committee in any way substantiates the wild allegations levelled by some Hon'ble Members of the Opposition," Singh said amid thumping of desks.

Raising questions over the authenticity of the American correspondence mentioned in the WikiLeaks website, the Prime Minister warned that believing in a communication sent by some official in an Embassy was a "dangerous thought".

He maintained that nobody from the Congress or the government was involved in any "transaction" during the 2008 Confidence Motion and neither had anybody been authorised to engage in any such transaction.

All About: Topnews, PM, Manmohan Singh, BJP, WikiLeaks, Cash for vote, Congress, Parliament's Committee, Opposition, US Embas

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