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CASH FOR VOTE SCANDAL - 2008


FRAME OF CASH FOR VOTE SCANDAL - 2008
The cash for vote scandal is once again a major scandal in the history of independent India which involved the then majority-holding parliamentary-party alliance of India headed by Sonia Gandhi and the United Progressive Alliance supposed to have bribed the member of Parliaments of the Bharathiya Janata Party so as to pull through a confidence vote which was held on 22 July 2008. The Marxist Community Party of India led Left Front withdrew its support to the then ruling Government, the Congress headed by Manmohan Singh in the Lok Sabha because they were wanting to proceed along with an Indo-US nuclear deal.


HISTORY OF THE SCANDAL
So when this was not accepted by the government they withdrew their support in the Lok Sabha and led to the confidence voting. But however the Marxist Communist Party of India CPI (M) expressed disapproval to the project of supply of the nuclear technology to India from the United States thereby consenting to United Nations inspections of its nuclear programs and the splitting of the civil and military aspects of those programs. CPI (M) was not for this deal mainly because they considered that this would cause the country to be looked down or inferior to the US. Apart from the CPI (M), the Bharatiya Janata Party also strictly condemned this based on various factors like that the inspections could delay or prevent development of the country's nuclear arms program. The confidence voting which was taken based on the above discussed issues was won by the government in the face of the predominantly left-wing and Hindu nationalist objections. It had been arguing that the nuclear infrastructure needed to be developed more rapidly because the existing electric generation facilities were incapable of meeting growing demand.

CONFIDENCE VOTING WAS TOTALLY SHATTERED BY THE BHARATIYA JANATHA PARTY MP'S
The 2008 success of the government in the confidence voting was totally shattered by the Bharatiya Janata Party MPs, including Ashok Argal who pulled out bundles and bundles of cashes during the debate time in the parliament which is alleged to be bribed by the government so as to buy their support or to be restraint in their consumption. The Bharatiya Janata Party was strongly fighting for the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for they came out with a number of allegations on the Prime Minister and also affirmed that there was a clear evidence of all the incidents and dealings proposedly recorded in a video. The leader of the Marxist Communist Party of India CPI (M) also stated that all the members of the Parliament were approached and induced by the Congress party in offering of bribe so as to vote in favor of them. But however all these allegations were completely denied by the Government.

DELHI POLICE FURTHER INVESTIGATED INTO THE EXACT HAPPENING OF THE CASE
Finally the speaker of the Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee, asked the New Delhi Police to further investigate into the exact happening of the case. After nearly a period of two weeks' time on August 2nd 2008, documentary evidence was produced by the Bharatiya Janata Party only to prove that Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahaveer Bhagora had been bribed. The investigatory committee which was set up by the parliament got evidences from the BJP including printed versions of video recordings and explanatory letters from two of the MPs. The BJP also indicated the faults of CNN-IBN, who had recorded the BJP MP's attempt to sting the government but had not broadcast it. Finally the recorded versions and happenings were published and broadcasted on television on 12th August, 2008 after the investigating committee pulled the CNN-IBN to its investigation and questionnaire.

PRECONVINCED OPINION OF THE INVESTIGATORY PROCESS
Based on the grounds of legal opinion the company had refused to accept the calls for an earlier broadcast thinking that it is a preconvinced opinion of the investigatory process. This was more commonly referred as the Kishore Chandra Deo committee and it actually began on 30th July, 2008. But however by December 2008 the committee submitted a report stating that they found no proof of corruption of offering of bribe in the case of Rajya Sabha members Amar Singh and Ahmad Patel. They had been accused of offering the bribes, and Singh was a prominent member of the Samajwadi Party (SP) which had begun to support the government at the time when the Left Front moved to oppose it. The Kishore Chandra Deo committee insisted on more detailed probing into the activities of Sanjeev Saxena, Sohail Hindustani and Sudheendra Kulkarni. Saxena was a wing man to Amar Singh, Kulkarni had a similar role for the BJP leader, L. K. Advani and Hindustani was a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha activist (although some early reports say that he was a driver).

CONCLUSION SUBMITTED BY THE REPORT
CASH FOR VOTE
Few members of the committee were not really for the conclusion submitted by the report but wished for an additional investigation in the scandal. With further investigation it was stated that the proof submitted by the video evidence of the car at Singh's house was not really enough to conclude the happenings and also it was very difficult to determine who was in the car and it does not prove what was revealed inside the house. Practically there were no proofs to confirm that money was offered for voting in favor of the motion of confidence or for abstaining from voting. In January 2009 a police investigation was set in motion to further investigate into the allegations relating to Saxena, Hindustani and Kulkarni which had been recommended in the report of the parliamentary committee. But however an autobiography released on November 2013 by Drohkaal ka Pathik, former MP Pappu Yadav alleged that during the July 2008 trust vote, both the Congress and BJP had offered "Rs 40 crores each" to MPs of his Indian Federal Democratic Party, for their support.

PEOPLE INVOLVED
CASH FOR VOTE SCAM
According to various media sources a report was submitted on 17 March 2011, where a Congress Party political adviser Nachiketa Kapur had blowed his own trumpet to the officials of the US embassy on July 2008 that there were more than enough funds in the party to dishonestly persuade the MP's in order to end up with a expressing approval of outcome. Nachiketa Kapur professed that a particular amount was already paid off to four MP's who were members of Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). According to a report produced by the Hindu, it is stated that in 2008 exactly five days before the vote of confidence took pace against the Manmohan Singh government on the issue related to the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal, a political wing man to Congress leader Satish Sharma revealed to an employee of the U.S. embassy that two suitcases full of money worth nearly Rs. 500 million ($13 million) to Rs. 600 million ($15 million) was collected by the party in order to get the support of the MP's.

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