New Delhi, The Congress Monday dismissed the allegation by Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh’s counsel Ram Jethmalani that senior party leader Ahmed Patel was the source of the money in the 2008 cash-for-votes scam, and said the party was prepared for its government’s fall in the event of losing the trust vote.
Answering queries about Jethmalani making a U-turn before a Delhi court and claiming that Congress leader Ahmed Patel was the source of the money allegedly given to three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs in 2008 as bribe ahead of the trust vote by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury said, ‘These are serial accusations’.
‘We have no insecurity…We have nothing to do with it. Please try to understand that after much wait and thought process, we decided to take up the challenge of no-confidence on the floor of the house. We were very secure and were prepared to pay the price if the government fell. There is no such insecurity. You have to look at who had insecurity,’ Chowdhury said.
Asked whether Amar Singh was responsible for the scam, Chowdhary said: ‘I am not the judge.’
The spokesperson took a dig at Jethmalani over his submission in the case, saying a few days back he had sought to put the onus for the money on the BJP.
‘Wait for three more days. Something else will come out,’ Chowdhury said.
Asked who had benefited from the cash-for-votes episode, Chowdhury said: ‘I do not know who benefited. The country hopefully benefited.’
Jethmalani Monday told a Delhi court that the person who paid money during the 2008 trust vote was Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel.
Earlier, Jethmalani had argued that since it was a sting operation mounted by the BJP, the money ‘must have’ come from the BJP. Jethmalani himself is the BJP’s Rajya Sabha member.
Special Judge Sangita Dhingra Sehgal extended till Sep 27 the interim bail granted to Amar Singh, in custody for alleged involvement in the scam and currently admitted for treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences). He was arrested Sep 6.
On July 22, 2008, three BJP MPs waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha ahead of a trust vote, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.