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Monday, Nov 29, 2021
Outlook.com
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Wikileaks

'There Was Insufficient Evidence To Draw Any Conclusion Of Bribery'

'It is most surprising that speculative, unverified and unverifiable communications should be given dignity and seized upon by the Opposition parties to revive old charges that have been soundly rejected'

'There Was Insufficient Evidence To Draw Any Conclusion Of Bribery'
'There Was Insufficient Evidence To Draw Any Conclusion Of Bribery'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

PM’s statement in the Lok Sabha

Yesterday, several Honourable Members raised allegations based on reports in a newspaper of what purport to be cables from the US Embassy in New Delhi to their authorities in Washington. The Government of India cannot confirm the veracity, contents or even the existence of such communications. I may point out that many of the persons referred to in those reports have stoutly denied the veracity of the contents.

An issue was raised that the offence of bribery was committed in India. Government rejects that allegation absolutely and firmly. Let it be remembered that in July 2008, in the 14th LoK Sabha, Government moved a Motion of Confidence. In an open vote that was taken on the floor of the House, Government won the confidence of the Lok Sabha by 275 votes for and 256 votes against. The allegations of bribery were investigated by a committee constituted by the 14th Lok Sabha. The Committee had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to draw any conclusion of bribery.

I am disappointed that members of the Opposition have forgotten what happened thereafter. Upon the conclusion of the term of the 14th Lok Sabha, there was a general election. In that general election, the Opposition parties repeated their allegations of bribery in the trust vote. How did the people respond to those allegations? The principal Opposition party which had 138 seats in the 14th Lok Sabha was reduced to 116 seats in the 15th Lok Sabha. The left parties found that their tally was reduced from 59 to 24. It is the Congress Party alone which increased its tally from 145 to 206, an increase of 61 seats.

It is unfortunate that the Opposition continues to raise old charges that have been debated, discussed and rejected by the people of India. It is most surprising that speculative, unverified and unverifiable communications should be given dignity and seized upon by the Opposition parties to revive old charges that have been soundly rejected.

I wish to make it clear that no one from the Congress Party or the Government indulged in any unlawful act during the trust vote during July, 2008. The UPA I Government always enjoyed the confidence of the people and the 14th Lok Sabha. The UPA II Government has been formed in the 15th Lok Sabha and enjoys the confidence of this House and the people of India.


The PM read out the same statement in Rajya Sabha too. There too, as in the Lok Sabha, the speaker did not allow any further questions by the opposition, citing a 1987 ruling. As a result, the government did not answer what actions, if any, has been taken on the recommendation of the committee that went into allegations of cash for vote to further investigate the issue.

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