Whose frontman were you: BJP, Left ask Amar Singh


New Delhi: The BJP and Left Tuesday demanded to know on whose behest the arrested former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh was acting while attempting to bribe opposition MPs during the 2008 parliament trust vote.

Support TwoCircles

While, the ruling Congress, whose party-led government had won the trust vote, refused to say much except that the law will take its course, the Samajwadi Party said Amar Singh was being made a scapegoat. The Communist Party of India (CPI) said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should clarify whose frontman Amar Singh was.

BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said Amar Singh should speak up on who was behind the cash-for-votes scam.

“I think this is a very important aspect… how come nothing has been raised against the beneficiaries of the act? The way Amar Singh has been arrested and chargesheet has been filed against him… it is time for Amar Singh to give clarification and say on whose behalf he acted,” Rudy said.

“Whosoever’s name comes, the beneficiary of cash-for-vote scam was the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government,” Rudy added.

Amar Singh and two former BJP MPs – Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora – were Tuesday arrested and sent to judicial custody for alleged involvement in the scam.

Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “The arrest came at the conclusion of a closely monitored apex court investigation…The Congress has always had faith in the legal process. The law will take its own course.”

He said those who were alleging that the arrest was motivated, by implication may be making remarks against Supreme Court which monitored the investigation.
He said that Delhi police filed chargesheet a few days back and the apex court said there was no need of further monitoring.

Singhvi did not comment to a volley of questions about the possible motive behind Amar Singh’s role in trying to bribe MPs.

Samajwadi Party leader Mohan Singh said Amar Singh had been made a scapegoat to hide “shoddy investigations” of Delhi Police.

“The Supreme Court had asked Delhi Police to find the source of the money in the cash-for-votes deal. Without knowing that, Amar Singh has been made the scapegoat to hide the police’s shoddy investigation,” Mohan Singh told news channel CNN-IBN.

“The real culprit is yet to be found. You cannot go to the bottom of the matter by simply accusing Amar Singh,” Mohan Singh said, adding that the “issue is related to individuals and not the Samajwadi Party”.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Gurudas Dasgupta said that cash-for-vote scam had benefited the Congress and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should clarify whose frontman Amar Singh was.

“Since the cash-for-vote scam has gone to benefit the Congress, the prime minister, as the leader of the government, should clarify whose frontman Amar Singh was. He could not have acted on his own,” Dasgupta told reporters.

He said the former SP leader’s arrest was an “eloquent testimony of how the government was protecting criminals”.

He said Singh, who was “given ‘Z’ category security by this government, has had to go to jail. The right man is in the right place.”

On July 22, 2008, three BJP MPs waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha ahead of a trust vote by the Manmohan Singh government, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour.

The chargesheet alleged that during investigation “sufficient evidence” came on record that on the morning of July 22, 2008, Amar Singh “hatched a criminal conspiracy with his secretary Sanjeev Saxena to deliver cash of Rs.1 crore as illegal gratification”.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal rejected allegations that the UPA government was the beneficiery of the scam and said it did not need the votes of three BJP MPs who claimed to have been bribed.

“Congress government did not need any votes. You can check the records and see how many votes we won,” he said.

Bansal also made it clear that there was no need for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to make a statement on the issue.