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Advani, Jaitley visit Kulkarni, BJP MPs in jail, say innocent

Advani, Jaitley visit Kulkarni, BJP MPs in jail, say innocent

Author: Express News Service
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: September 29, 2011
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Advani--Jaitley-visit-Kulkarni--BJP-MPs-in-jail--say-innocent/853356/

Accompanied by Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, senior BJP leader L K Advani on Wednesday met his former aide Sudheendra Kulkarni, who is currently lodged in Tihar jail for his alleged involvement in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam.

Advani and Jaitley also met former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Singh Bhagora, who are also lodged in the jail in connection with the case.

"They have not done any wrong, they were only trying to expose a scam where money was being given either to abstain or vote during the trust vote motion against the UPA-I government in July 2008. If they had intended to keep the money with them why would they have gone to the floor of Parliament with the bribe amount," said Jaitley. The meeting lasted for about 30 minutes inside the jail premises.

Defending the three, Jaitley said that "false entrapment cannot co-exist with bribery" while maintaining that whistleblower cannot be treated in the same manner as a bribe giver. He said that 19 MPs had either cross-voted or abstained during the trust vote and there were "open allegations" of use of money power to influence MPs.

"It was a test case to expose corruption and they are being put in jail for acting as whistleblowers. We are with them in this," said Jaitley.

Jaitley said they met Kulkarni, Bhagora and Kulaste in the same room. "It was a personal visit," he said.

Jail officials said Kulkarni has been lodged in a separate cell with a television set. He has been put in Jail number 3 and has CWG scam accused Lalit Bhanot and V K Verma as neighbours.

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