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Cash for votes: Amar Singh, others may be quizzed

Posted by on July 19, 2011 0 Comment

Expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh’s name has once again surfaced in the cash-for-votes scam. Mr Sanjeev Saxena, arrested by the Delhi police crime branch on Sunday over the 2008 cash-for-votes scam, is believed to have pointed fingers at Mr Singh in this connection. Samajwadi MP Reoti Raman Singh is likely to be summoned for questioning by the crime branch on Tuesday.

Mr Saxena, a former aide of Mr Singh, was produced in a city court on Monday, which remanded him to police custody for three days. More arrests are likely in the scam. The police is examining various options, including interrogating Mr Singh and some other legislators whose names were surfacing. A request is likely to be made to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar in this regard. The police is also looking for one Suhail Hindustani, a former aide of then BJP leader Sudheendra Kulkarni.

Mr Amar Singh remained somewhat inaccessible as his name once again cropped up in the cash-for-votes scam, and repeated attempts to contact him failed. Mr Singh has been the target of political rivals, particularly the BJP, on this issue. BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad on Monday demanded that the probe be transparent, and said it has “serious implications and ramifications, which reaches to the top”.

The Congress tried to avoid the issue, and party spokesperson Manish Tewari said: “A probe is on. It will not be proper for me to comment during the course of investigation.”

The police is also on the lookout for Mr Amar Singh’s driver who had allegedly driven Mr Saxena to the residence of BJP MP Ashok Argal in 2008. It is alleged that Mr Saxena had gone to offer cash to three MPs to abstain in the crucial Lok Sabha trust vote in July 2008.

The police claimed before the court on Monday that Mr Saxena’s custodial interrogation was necessary to ascertain the whereabouts of Mr Amar Singh’s then driver, identified as Sanjay, who was reportedly assigned by Mr Singh to give `1 crore in cash meant for BJP MPs to Mr Saxena. The police also told the court it had to recover the mobile phones used in that period by Sanjay to link the missing dots in the investigation.

A top crime branch official said Mr Saxena’s interrogation was needed to identify the source of money offered to the BJP MPs at the residence of Ashok Argal. “We have to establish the source of money offered to the BJP MPs by Saxena. Once the link is established, more people will be called for questioning.”

The Delhi police had arrested Mr Saxena on Sunday after being recently castigated by the Supreme Court for its shoddy probe in the cash-for-votes scam. Asian Age

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