New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) The government would welcome a structured debate on the cash-for-vote expose by WiliLeaks but the opposition cannot seek clarifications on the prime minister’s statement on the issue, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said Friday.
“We would welcome a structured debate on the cash-for-vote issue if the opposition demands it,” Bansal told reporters outside parliament.
Bansal, however, reiterated that clarifications could not be sought on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement in the Rajya Sabha as it was not a suo moto one.
“Opposition cannot ask for a clarification on a statement demanded by it in either house. Opposition can ask for a clarification only on suo moto statement made by the prime minister or any other minister,” he said.
Bansal added that the government enjoys the confidence of people on the issue.
The US diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks and published by The Hindu newspaper Thursday quoted a political aide of Congress leader Satish Sharma as saying that a fund of Rs.50 crore had been formed to pay MPs for the 2008 confidence vote.
A US embassy official was apparently shown two chests of cash in the political aide’s house, kept for the payoffs.
The prime minister in his statement to the two houses denied all claims in the WikiLeaks cited US cables.