Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj Tuesday met two BJP colleagues who are lodged in Tihar jail in connection with the cash-for-vote scandal.
Swaraj, who is Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, along with party general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad met two former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste, Mahavir Bhagora as well as Sudheendra Kulkarni, media advisor to Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he was the prime minister.
Talking to reporters later, Sushma said they met the BJP party leaders to wish them on the occasion of Diwali and show their support for them by calling them ‘innocent’.
Tomorrow is Deepawali, which is the biggest festival. Three of our innocent friends are celebrating this festival in jail… They did no crime except revealing other people’s crime, Sushma said after meeting them.
Those who committed the crime are in government and those who revealed the crime are in jail, she said.
Sushma said the BJP will continue its ‘struggle’ unless the real culprits are punished.
One thing that is satisfactory is that their own spirit is very high. They say ‘don’t worry about us but what we did, we are proud of it’. Unless the real culprits are punished and the innocent are released, our struggle will continue, Sushma added.
BJP has been upset as former Samajwadi Party MP Amar Singh, who was accused in the same case, got bail Monday while the BJP members remain in jail.
Prasad said that people were angry over the jailing of the BJP men.
Those who gave the bribe have been granted bail. Those for whose benefit the bribe was given, their role is not being investigated. And those who exposed the most shameful, sordid episode in the history of India, unfortunately spend their Diwali in jail, Prasad said.
The nation is watching all this. With deep sense of disgust and dismay. People of this country are very, very angry against twin menace of corruption and black money, he said.
On July 22, 2008, the 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. Another BJP MP, Ashok Argal, has not been arrested yet.