Cash-for-vote scam: Congress declines comment on allegations


New Delhi: The Congress Wednesday refused to comment on allegations by Suhail Hindustani, an alleged middleman in the cash-for-votes scam, about the role of its leaders in the controversy, saying the issue was being probed by police and political parties should refrain from speaking on it.

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“The issue was probed by a parliamentary panel. According to our information, the matter is pending in court. The court has passed some directions and the facts will be placed before it. Political parties should not comment on this and wait for the decision of court,” Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said.

Hindustani told reporters Wednesday after being questioned by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police that Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh, who was then in the Samajwadi Party, was the “main” man behind the 2008 cash-for-vote scandal. He also accused Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and other Congress leaders of involvement.

“Amar Singh had used Ahmed Patel in all this,” he said.

“Amar Singh and Ahmed Patel were working together and I helped them. There is nothing left in this case, it’s crystal clear,” he added.

Hindustani, who claims to be a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing member, also said he was called by those “close to” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The questioning of Hindustani came a few days after Amar Singh’s former aide Sanjeev Saxena was arrested by Delhi Police.

Saxena is alleged to have tried to bribe BJP MPs Ashok Argal, Mahavir Bhagora and Faggan Singh Kulaste into voting for the Manmohan Singh government in the 2008 trial of strength over the Indo-US nuclear deal. The trust vote followed withdrawal of support by the Left parties.

Bags filled with currency notes were shown in the Lok Sabha on July 22, 2008, minutes before a trust vote was to take place.

Hindustani was called to the Crime Branch office this morning for questioning. He was later arrested.