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Allies rally to save Amar: BJP fires fresh salvo

Allies rally to save Amar: BJP fires fresh salvo

Author: Kumar Uttam
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: August 5, 2008

War over cash-for-vote scandal

The cash-for-vote controversy continues to create ripples in the political circles with a new UPA CD alleging that the BJP was behind the bribing of MPs and the main Opposition party releasing fresh evidence against Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh.

A day after the BJP came out with "documentary evidence" to prove the SP's involvement in the cash-for-vote scandal, the UPA on Monday fielded two Central Ministers to assist its "new-found friends" in defending themselves.

Union Ministers and arch rivals Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan shared dais with SP leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh and released the UPA's CD, which looks like a remake of the CD released on Friday by Uma Bharati.

The BJP described this UPA quartet as a "Cabinet Committee on Forgery and Fabrication" and its senior leader Arun Jaitley asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to what extent he would allow his Ministers to go to lend their shoulders in creating fake evidence.

Meanwhile, the BJP also released another "evidence" to prove the close relationship between Sanjeev Saxena, who is accused of delivering the bribe money to three BJP MPs, and Amar Singh.

Jaitley distributed to journalists a copy of the admission form of Saxena's son, who sought entry in the city-based Dyal Singh College under sports quota in June this year. Saxena himself filled the form and mentioned Amar Singh's 27 Lodhi Estate residence as his official address.

The form also mentions Saxena's cellphone number (9811721499), which is registered in the name of M/s HFCL (a corporate house close to Amar Singh) and was allegedly used in making the BJP MPs speak to the SP leader before delivering the "first installment of the bribe" on July 22 morning. The BJP claims that Singh's Lodhi Estate residence has been mentioned in many other forms (for different purposes, like bank loans) that Saxena filled in the last few years.

Singh has denied that Saxena worked for him, saying "he used to come to defector SP MP Sahid Siddiqui's Flat (8, South Avenue) where he (Siddiqui) and I worked together". But Jaitley insisted that Saxena was closely associated with Singh and to drive home the point, he posed five questions for the SP leader (see box).

"The fact that the evidence we produced on Sunday to prove Amar Singh's involvement in the scandal has not been dismissed itself proves it could not be dismissed. A lot more evidence would come to the fore as the ongoing probe in this matter advances," Jaitley told newspersons.

Taking on Amar Singh, he said he would not have come out with more evidence about the SP leader's involvement in the cash-for-vote scandal had the UPA Ministers and Singh refrained from concocting "fake evidence" to put the BJP in the dock. The BJP claimed that the CD that Amar Singh and other UPA leaders released on Monday was the same which Uma Bharati released on Friday and immediately turned out to be a fake. "Uma's fake CD has now become a documentary for Amar Singh. I never met Saxena," Jaitley commented on the UPA leader's claim that Saxena was closely associated with the BJP leader.

Kulaste, whom the UPA's CD quoted as saying that he never met Amar Singh, told reporters that the voice in the CD might be his own but different statements of his were added and put in one place to present a wrong picture. "I met Amar Singh on July 22 morning along with my colleague Ashok Argal," Kulaste reiterated.

The BJP said that with new evidence surfacing, it was keeping options open to approach the police. The attempt to create fake evidence was itself a criminal case, Jaitley said.

Any answers, Mr Amar Singh?

· 1. Didn't Sanjeev Saxena SMS journalists for Amar Singh's Press conference on July 20?

· 2. Didn't Saxena called Amar Singh's number to make three BJP MPs speak to him on July 22?

· 3. Didn't Saxena use a car registered in the name of a firm belonging to Singh's wife for handing over the bribe money to BJP MP Ashok Argal?

· 4. Didn't Saxena flee along with his family after the scandal became public on July 22?

· 5. Didn't he appear to playactin a fake CD made by Singh onJuly 25?

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