Left Front demands probe into bribery allegations

Kolkata, July 22 (IANS) West Bengal’s ruling Left Front Tuesday demanded a probe into allegations by three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs that they had been bribed by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s supporters to abstain during the trust vote in the Lok Sabha.

Terming the development as the “most shameful day” in the history of the Indian parliament, Left Front chairman Biman Bose said: “The horse-trading that has taken place should be looked into.”

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Bose flayed the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren’s reported demands that three West Bengal districts – Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore – be included in Jharkhand and the headquarters of Coal India and Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) here be also shifted to the neighbouring state.

“This demand is totally unreasonable and unrealistic. We strongly oppose the JMM’s demands. They had made the twin demands the preconditions for supporting the government during the confidence vote,” Bose told reporters here.

He appealed to the people of the state to be vigilant and careful about Soren’s demands.

Asked whether he had expected the UPA government to win the confidence vote, Bose said: “We had decided our stand on the India-US nuclear deal not thinking whether the government will survive or fall. Our campaign is against the deal”.

He described the nuclear deal as the “first step to make India a vassal state”.

Queried about the issue of Somnath Chatterjee’s resignation from the Lok Sabha, Bose replied: “Though we were not part of the government, earlier we were supporting the Congress-led UPA alliance from outside. But now when we are opposing the government, our MP should not be in the speaker’s chair”.

The four Left parties, which are constituents of the state’s ruling Left Front – Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Communist Party of India (CPI), Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) – withdrew support from the Manmohan Singh government protesting against its decision to go ahead with the India-US nuclear deal.