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United opposition walks out over ‘vote-for-cash’ WikiLeaks

Posted by on March 17, 2011 0 Comment

New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) A united opposition led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday walked out of the Lok Sabha protesting the “silence” of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following the WikiLeaks revelations on the government allegedly having bought MPs to win the parlimentary trust motion in July 2008.

As the Lok Sabha met in the evening after two adjournments due to opposition protests demanding the resignation of the UPA-II government, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj raised the issue once again, pointing out that the prime minister was present in the house but was silent on the issue.

“The prime minister is present in the house. Since morning the house has witnessed an uproar. It would have been appropriate if the prime minister made a statement in the house on the issue. But he is maintaining silence,” she said, leading the entire opposition, including the Left, BJD and TDP, out of the house in protest.

“If the WikiLeaks reports are false, then the prime minister could explain to the house how these are untrue,” she said, adding that the government can pass all of the demands for grants and the appropriation bills without the opposition in the house.

Manmohan Singh, along with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, watched the opposition walk out in silence.

US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks and published by The Hindu newspaper say that payoffs had been made to MPs to ensure a majority for the Congress-led government in the confidence vote over the India-US nuclear deal.

Nachiketa Kapur, a political aide of Congress leader Satish Sharma, is quoted as saying that a fund of Rs.50 crore had been formed to payoff the MPs.

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