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Cash for votes: 'Can there be any greater shame for PM'

Cash for votes: 'Can there be any greater shame for PM'

Author: Agencies
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: August 1, 2008

Accusing the Congress of using 'money power' to win the trust vote, the CPM said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had 'bettered the record' of his predecessor P V Narasimha Rao for indulging in 'immoral and shady practices' to remain in power.

The party alleged that at least 16 MPs belonging to Opposition non-Left parties were 'bought over, intimidated or blackmailed into either voting for the government or to abstain'.

"Can there be any greater shame for the Prime Minister and the Congress leadership? But the worrying thing is that there is no sense of remorse or guilt at these immoral and shady practices. Such is the degeneration of the Congress party in its lust to remain in office," CPM general secretary Prakash Karat said in a signed article in the forthcoming issue of the 'People's Democracy.'

Maintaining that Manmohan Singh had 'bettered the record' of Rao whose government acquired a majority after 'seven MPs were purchased', he said the victory of the UPA government was 'tainted by the use of money power on a scale never seen before in the corridors of power in New Delhi'. Karat asked how long will the UPA government last, if offers of 'a berth in the Union Cabinet, threats of unleashing investigating agencies against unwilling opposition MPs and bribes running into crores of rupees have enabled to survive'.

Observing that the Congress would have to go to the people in the next few months, he said, "a just punishment awaits them."

Alleging that the Manmohan Singh government had opened its doors to 'unscrupulous bargains and pressures', the top CPM leader said, "all those who extended support will extract their price."

"Even before the trust vote, the indications of the shape of things to come were revealed. Amar Singh, the Samajwadi Party leader, demanded that the Prime Minister mediates between the two warring Ambani brothers," he said.

Dismissing the Congress thinking that the CPM and the Left had 'not been isolated' after the UPA won over the SP, Karat said the fact is 'more forces have joined hands with the Left parties after the withdrawal of support' to oppose the Congress-led alliance.

While the government was 'basking in the success of its confidence vote', it is 'increasingly isolated from the people and covered with moral opprobrium for its corrupt practices'.

The Left parties, on the other hand, are rallying the other democratic and secular forces 'to carry on the fight against the anti-people policies and the anti-national foreign policy of the Congress-led government'.

Warning the government against pushing through various legislations like the Pension Bill, the Banking Amendment Bill and the Foreign Education Providers Bill, Karat said the Left parties will "work hard to see that such legislations are defeated in the floor of the House', besides carrying out big protest actions.

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