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Cash-for-vote: Suhail drags PM, Sonia

Published on 21 Jul. 2011 1:29 AM IST
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Suhail says PM, Sonia involved in 2008 LS cash-for-vote scam

Delhi Police on Wednesday made the second arrest in the 2008 ‘cash-for-votes’ scam by taking into custody Suhail Hindustani, who had allegedly acted as a liaison between Amar Singh and BJP MPs sought to be bribed.
He was arrested after seven hours of questioning by the Crime Branch and charges under Prevention of Corruption Act were against him, police sources said.
Police summoned Hindustani for questioning after it arrested Sanjeev Saxena, once considered close to  Singh, for allegedly delivering cash to three BJP MPs.
Suhail, alleged to have acted as a liaison between Amar Singh and BJP MPs in the cash-for-vote scam during the 2008 trust vote in Lok Sabha, today sought to drag the Prime Minister and Congress President in the cash-for-vote scam.
“I received calls from Amar Singh and Ahmed Patel (Political Secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi). Those close to Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) called me and even from 10-Janpath (Gandhi’s residence),” claimed Hindustani to reporters before being questioned by Delhi police’s crime branch officials probing the case.
But he did not identify all those who called him.
“I challenge them. These people tried to bribe me. They asked me why are you aligned with BJP? Is your life going haywire? Come, align with us and we will give you some big posts like chairmanship. They told me that if you get one MP, we will give you Rs 5-10 crore as commission,” he alleged.
Hindustani alleged that Amar Singh told him that he was working on Prime Minister’s directions along with Ahmed Patel to save the government.
People could not believe that Manmohan Singh and Congress party could stoop to this level to save the government,” he said.
Police summoned Hindustani for questioning after it arrested Sanjeev Saxena, once considered close to Singh, for allegedly delivering cash to three BJP MPs.
Before entering the police complex, he said he would tell police whatever he had told the Parliamentary Committee which probed the cash-for-vote scam.
Hindustani alleged that the operation was done by Amar Singh and some Congress leaders. The police should examine his call records, which he claimed would throw light on who all who called him between July nine and 22 of 2008.
Expanding its probe, police has also initiated the process to possibly question Amar Singh and BJP MP Ashok Argal.
Police may also question Sudheendra Kulkarni, a former aide of L K Advani, in connection with the scam.
Developments in the case came after the Supreme Court rapped the Delhi Police for its “callous” approach in probing the case. The police had filed an FIR in 2008 after a Parliamentary panel recommended it to investigate the case.
BJP MPs had displayed wads of cash in Lok Sabha on July 22, 2008 alleging that their MPs Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora were given money by Saxena allegedly at the behest of Singh and others to vote in favour of the government.
The three MPs, who were approached allegedly by Saxena to vote in favour of UPA, had claimed that Saxena had told them that the money was given by Amar Singh.
During the questioning, police sources said, Saxena told investigators that he got the money from Singh but he was not sure whether the whole money came from the former SP leader.
Saxena also told police that he made a number of calls to Singh on July 21 and 22 of 2008 before and after the cash was delivered to the MPs. Police is also looking for a driver, Sanjay, who took Saxena to the houses of the MPs and a mobile phone used by him to make calls while delivering the cash.

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