CPI-M demands higher probe into vote-buying charge


New Delhi : The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Wednesday demanded that probe into the alleged bribery of MPs to buy their votes in a trust vote in 2008 should be carried out by a bigger agency than the Delhi Police.

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The party said the investigation must cover all the circumstances relating to the controversy.

Taking part in the discussion on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement in the parliament relating to 2008 trust vote in the wake of the WikiLeaks expose, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said a Delhi Police probe was insufficient.

He said the United Progressive Alliance government (UPA) was reduced to minority after the Left parties withdrew their support to the government over the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Yechury added that the manner in which the government got majority raised a lot of doubts and was a “grave affront to democracy”.

He stressed that the CPI-M has always maintained that the nuclear deal was not in the interest of the country. The government needed a majority not only to finalise the nuclear deal but also to carry forward strategic understanding with the United States.

“That’s why US diplomats were visiting houses of Congress leaders,” Yechury charged.

According to him, issues including “US interference into the country’s internal affairs” were relevant to probe into cash-for-votes scam of 2008.

He said the US secretary of state had told India’s foreign minister about the damaging potential of the WikiLeaks cable leaks.

“That itself shows the content is verifiable,” Yechury said.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP) member Satish Chandra Misra demanded a judicial probe into the issue. He said Delhi Police, which has registered a first information report (FIR) on it after the opposition lodged a complaint, had not conducted a speedy investigation.

The controversy arose after some of the US embassy cables leaked by WikiLeaks recently referred to the ruling Congress party’s alleged attempt to garner support for the government during the 2008 trust vote by bribing MPs.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told the parliament last week that the panel which probed the bribe-for-votes charge in 2008 had found insufficient evidence to draw any such conclusion and categorically denied that any vote-buying was involved or authorised.