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Amar Singh to be questioned Friday over 2008 'horse trading'

Thursday July 21, 2011 10:02:33 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha MP and former high-profile Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Amar Singh will be questioned by the Delhi Police Friday for allegedly buying the support of three parliamentarians during the 2008 trust vote necessitated by the Left parties withdrawing support to the government over the India-US nuclear deal.

Informed sources told IANS that the former general secretary of Mulayam Singh's SP will be confronted with two witnesses - Sanjeev Saxena and Suhail Hindustani - who are already in police custody for their role in what came to be known as the cash-for-votes scam.

The questioning is likely to take place Friday afternoon, the sources said.

They said the questioning of Amar Singh, who has held many prestigious posts in the past including the chairman of Uttar Pradesh Development Council, was cleared after the statements by Hindustani and Saxena.

Hindustani, a former member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Yuva Morcha, was arrested by the police Wednesday - the second person to be held in the case after Saxena.

Both the arrested accused have named Amar Singh in the alleged horse trading.

Bags filled with currency notes were shown in the Lok Sabha July 22, 2008, minutes before a trust vote was to take place.

The investigation into the case was speeded up after the Supreme Court last week slammed Delhi Police for their callous approach in the case.

Saxena, Amar Singh's former aide, alleged that the then SP leader had provided Rs.1 crore for getting the support of three BJP MPs in the 2008 trust vote after the Left parties withdrew support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

Hindustani, who allegedly played the liason between the SP leader and the BJP MPs, also levelled the same allegations against Amar Singh, saying he was the "main" man behind the scandal.

Also to be quizzed by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police would be SP's Reoti Raman Singh and BJP leader Ashok Argal.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, former aide of BJP leader L.K. Advani, will also be questioned, said the source.

In a related development, a Delhi court Thursday sent Hindustani to a day's police remand and also extended the police custody of co-accused Saxena. His three-day police remand ended Thursday.

The political storm over the scam had rocked parliament and is likely to remain in the focus of the opposition during the monsoon session beginning Aug 1.

In its reaction to the developments in the scam, the BJP said that police should distinguish between those who indulged in corruption in the controversy and those who blew the lid off the scandal.

Party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said if police investigations were done properly, the real picture about the scam would come out in 15 days.

"We are extending full cooperation. If investigation is done in the correct manner, the real picture will emerge about how the Congress took recourse to corruption (in the trust vote)," he said.









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