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UPA's Survival On 22nd July? And Aftermath -2
<b>MPs for Sale</b>

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->If there is a hung Parliament next time and a coalition government whose survival hangs by a thread, do not be surprised if New Delhi becomes a bigger bazaar of horses than it was when Dr Manmohan Singh won the vote of confidence on July 22. The price of the horses will be far higher than the unbelievable benchmark set by the managers of the UPA’s victory last week.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In other words, Indian Parliament will be on sale from now onwards. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->I assisted the three BJP MPs in their whistle-blowing operation. I was a witness to most of what they have stated in their petition to the Speaker and vouch for its authenticity. I was with the CNN-IBN team almost from the beginning to the end of its sting operation and have witnessed its recording of the operation. I have no hesitation in affirming that the channel has double-crossed the whistle-blowers by flouting its own solemn assurance to telecast the tape before the trust vote was taken on July 22. I am willing to depose before the inquiry committee and ready to face any punishment if found guilty.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Difficult days are ahead for Indian democracy. Therefore, the time to act for you, me and all democracy-loving people, is NOW. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Comment: Parliament and foreign policy —A G Noorani</b>

Can any one imagine that a democratic government can conclude an international agreement of a sensitive nature and escape accountability to Parliament and public opinion?

Opposing the Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh’s motion of confidence in his Council of Ministers in the Lok Sabha, on July 21, the Leader of the Opposition Mr Lal Kishan Advani suggested that the constitution should be amended to obligate ratification by Parliament of international agreements of a certain kind; for example those that bear on national security. Ever since the debate on the draft agreement between India and the United States on nuclear cooperation began, not a few demanded that it must be ratified by Parliament. Some proposed constitutional amendment to ensure that. Mr Advani only gave this suggestion a precise form.

This reflects an old South Asian tendency to seek institutional or legislative action to meet a political problem — set up a Committee, or a Commission of Inquiry; or change the law, or the Constitution itself. Can any one imagine that a democratic government can conclude an international agreement of a sensitive nature and escape accountability to Parliament and public opinion?

In the instant case the Prime minister sought a vote of confidence because the President asked him to do so. Since his supporters, the Left parties, had withdrawn their support, he had to prove his majority. But there was nothing to prevent the Opposition from moving a motion of non-confidence or rejection of the draft or an adjournment motion with the stigma of censure. In any of the three cases the Government would have been bound to resign.

The Shimla agreement of July 3, 1972 did not provide for ratification. But each Government faced its Parliament and obtained a vote of support. During the debates the leaders gave their views on the finer points of the Shimla Pact in response to criticism. Mrs Indira Gandhi told the Lok Sabha on August 2, 1972, “I am not bothered whether they go to the United Nations...We can meet them there. I have no fear of their getting away with anything at the United Nations.”

Mr Zulfikar Ali Bhutto showed equal realism when, about the same time, he told the National Assembly, “In the beginning we were excited at the concept of the United Nations...You know very well what we got from the United Nations...in 1964 the UN was not even prepared to give a resolution to Pakistan...And what did the president of Security Council say?” He said, “We can say India and Pakistan must have bilateral negotiations.”

Parliamentary democracies follow the British model. Parliamentary ratification is an option, not a binding duty in law. However, politically it is inescapable. International agreements do not always provide for ratification. They can come into force either on signature or on ratification by the Government. Treaties almost invariably provide for their ratification, but do not stipulate that it must be done by the legislature. That is a matter of choice for each signatory State.

Also, a treaty has no legal effect domestically. Legislation is necessary to implement it; for example on environment. In the United States, treaties must be ratified by the Senate. When so ratified, they acquire the force of law superseding previous laws. Presidents try to evade this by concluding “executive agreements”. But the Senate, indeed the entire Congress with the House of Representatives, is not powerless. The Senate can obstruct legislation which the President seeks. The House of Representatives can hold up the budget.

It is politics which determines the course to be adopted. In view of its fractured divided polity and its distrust of foreign powers the democratic Constitution of Nepal of 1990 — which King Gyanendra foolishly violated and lost his throne — had a special provision which is not to be found in the Constitution of any other country. It deserves to be quoted in full to illustrate the deep distrust which inspired Article 126. It said that ratification and approval of “treaties” or agreements shall be concluded as determined by law. It added that the law shall require ratification by a two-thirds vote at a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament if the treaty concerns “(a) peace and friendship; (b) defence and strategic alliance; © boundaries of the Kingdom of Nepal; and (d) natural resources, and the distribution of their uses” Otherwise the treaty will not bind Nepal. Also “no treaty or agreement shall be concluded in detriment to the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Nepal.” What if it settles a border dispute?

India’s Constitution contains a sweeping provision. Article 253 gives a carte blanche to the Centre: “Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this chapter (on centre-state relations in the legislative sphere), parliament has power to make any law for the whole or any part of the territory of India for implementing any treaty, agreement or convention with any other country/countries or any decision made at any international conference, association or other body.”

The italicised words were added on October 14, 1949, without debate in the constituent assembly just as the text was on June 13, 1949. No one perceived its wide sweep. If the government of India concludes an international convention on, say, health, parliament will have the power to make any law to implement it despite the fact that the subject falls in the State list. More, it applies not only to a treaty but covers any “decision” made at any international “conference”, association or “other body”.

Sir Ivor Jennings threw up his arms in alarm as he read this and said: “It does not specifically refer to conferences, associations and other bodies representing governments, and, on its face, it would seem to apply to any international organisation representing, let us say, universities or trade unions. Nor would it seem to matter that the organisation had merely advisory powers. The word ‘decision’ cannot mean a binding decision, for the assumption is that legislation is needed to implement it. If this is the correct interpretation, the union parliament can acquire of the Inter-University Board of India, which is an international body, because it contains representatives of universities in Burma and Ceylon (Sri Lanka).” Of course the courts will give it a restrictive meaning.

The Constitution of Pakistan achieves the same result. Entry 3 in the Federal Legislative List relates to “external affairs” and to “the implementation of treaties and agreements, including educational and cultural pacts and agreements with other countries.” Thus a law to implement a treaty will override Provincial laws.

The controversy on ratification is an unreal and unnecessary one. India’s Parliament always debated and approved all agreements of a political nature since the days of Jawaharlal Nehru. If India settles the Kashmir problem with Pakistan or the boundary problem with China, can anyone believe that the agreement will not be placed before Parliament for its approval?

A G Noorani is a prominent lawyer and a commentator on regional affairs

My suggestion -
Nice column with arcs surrounds Parliament halls and offices. They should intall glass frames on every arc and place a box at bottom with label handle. As soon as MP takes oath, their price should be placed on that price label holder. They can change price based on events or situation etc.
It will easy to see what is going rate.

Babus going rate are set at different time (engagement, marriage (for in-laws), house, shopping school, college fee for kids (for clients, foreign diplomats or dealers) for public they should also consider rate label and they can also set up future PM number sticker machine near South block.
Politically, it might make sense for the UPA to test the BJP by bringing some of these Bills to Parliament. The winter session might be a good time for the central government to expose those in the Opposition bent upon voting a Bill out just to score a political point. Indeed, if the UPA wants to show its unflinching commitment to the remaining reform agenda it must stick its neck out and even risk losing a vote.

At least, it will be seen as being decisive. The BJP, on the other hand, will run the risk of being seen as anti-reform by the growing middle class. As it is, the party is not entirely happy with the way it is being perceived on the issue of nuclear deal and its strong association with national interest. It would make sense for the UPA to test the BJP on further reforms, which have the endorsement of the middle class.

A CNN-IBN team on Monday also deposed before the Lok Sabha panel probing the incident. The panel will examine Raman Singh and Saxena next. The channel said that it had presented its case to the panel and had now decided to telecast the tapes.

The channel — which has come under fire from BJP for not airing the sting — said that it had decided to do so now after fulfiling its constitutional responsibility and to "end the speculation" without entering into the political battle. BJP had claimed that the channel had violated an understanding to telecast the sting on July 22 afternoon.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Cash-for-vote: CNN-IBN finally airs tapes </b>
Pioneer News Service | New Delhi
UPA partners reel under impact of scandals caught on camera
The CNN-IBN on Monday telecast the much-awaited tapes of the 'cash-for-vote' scandal. The tapes were telecast more than 20 days after the channel carried out a sting operation to expose the alleged horse-trading that took place before the July 22 trust vote in Parliament.<b> The channel's decision to telecast the tape on Monday coincided with its appearance before the parliamentary panel investigating the matter.</b>

The BJP, which had boycotted the channel for withholding telecast of the tapes, responded saying that the nation has "now clearly seen how the Manmohan Singh Government indulged in dubious and corrupt means to remain in power". Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "The complaint of the three BJP MPs stands vindicated by the telecast of the tapes. This also proves the link between Amar Singh and Sanjeev Saxena. We demand a quick and thorogh probe as this matter involves the prestige of Parliament."

The tape had three main sections. The first showed Samajwadi Party MP Reoti Raman Singh meeting three BJP MPs -- Ashok Argal, Mahavir Bhagora and Faggan Singh Kulaste -- and offering them a meeting with his party colleague to fix the "amount".

The MPs appeared reluctant to go out and, instead, wanted to discuss the matter over phone with the unidentified man.

In the second section, a white Maruti Zen is seen entering into and coming out of Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh's official residence at 27 Lodhi Estate in New Delhi.

The BJP leaders have all along claimed that two of their party MPs -- Argal and Kulaste -- went to meet Amar Singh in this car.

<b>The last section has footage showing Sanjeev Saxena, an alleged aide of the SP general secretary, delivering Rs 1 crore to the three BJP MPs and making them speak to someone (the BJP MPs claim it was Amar Singh) over phone. Though Amar Singh does not figure in the tapes, the BJP MPs in the recording are seen referring to some "Singhji" and Sanjeev Saxena speaking to some "Sirji".</b>

<b>While Amar Singh denied having a close association with Saxena, the BJP has produced "documentary evidence" before the parliamentary panel investigating the matter to prove Saxena's proximity with the SP leader. </b>

Asked by the channel whether the BJP had forced the three MPs into the sting operation, party general secretary Arun Jaitley said they had complained that while they had been rebuffing the bribery attempts, the media was carrying their names as "suspects". "So, we told them to take a bold step and become whistle-blowers," he said.

The channel said that when it tried to talk to Reoti Raman Singh, he refused to appear on camera. He told the channel that the BJP MPs had been calling him for quite some time and so he went and talked to them in a house at Ferozeshah Road. He also claimed that he had never used the word "amount", nor did he indulge in "such politics" at any time in his career.

Earlier, Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief of the news channel, and five of his staff appeared before the parliamentary panel and submitted two more tapes which the committee would examine. Both the panel chairman V Kishore Chandra Deo and Sardesai refused to talk about what the latter disclosed before the committee.

<b>Meanwhile, Communist Party of India national secretary D Raja questioned the delay by the channel in telecasting the tapes. "It should have been shown on the very first day when it was handed over to the Lok Sabha Speaker,"</b> he said.

<!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> Film Songs on Confidence Vote
Prakash Karat: Dost dost na rahaa...
Manmohan Singh: Merey dushman tu meri dosti ko tarsey...
Sonia Gandhi: Aaj phir jeeney ki tamanna hai...
Somnath Chatterjee: Jhoom, jhoom ke nacho/Aaj kis ki jeet hui hai/Aaj kis ki haar...
Mulayam Singh Yadav: Na na kartey haan tumhi ko kar baithey...
Lalu Prasad Yadav: Samajhney-wale samajh gaye hain/Jo naa samajhey woh anari hai…
Amar Singh: Lagaa chunri mein daag...
Mayawati: Mera sundar sapna toot gaya...
Sitaram Yechury: Merey tutey huey dil se koi to aaj yeh puchhey...
AB Bardhan: Kasmein, vaade, pyaar wafaa sab/Baatein hain, baaton ka kya...
Rahul Gandhi: Hoshiar! Hum hain yahaan ke Raj Kumar
LK Advani: Raha gardishon mein har dam...
Arun Jaitley: Yeh kya hua, kaise hua, kyon hua...
Pranab Mukherjee: Duniya kee sair kar lo...
Vayalar Ravi: Jo vadaa kiya hai nibhaana paadey ga...
Shibu Soren: Jo tum ko ho pasand wahi baat karenge...
Deve Gowda: Mujhe tum se kuch bhi naa chahiye/Mujhe mere haal pe chhod do…
Ajit Singh: Kora kagaz thaa, kora hi reh gayaa...
SS Dhindasa: Garibo ki suno, woh tumhari sunega...
Raj Babbar: Ghungroo ki tarah bajta hi raha hoon main...
Omar Abdullah: Begaani shaadi mein Abdullah deewana...
Manmohan-Bush, over phone: Yeh dosti hum nahin chodenge...
Aam Aadmi: Jinhein naaz hai Hind pe, woh kahan hain?

(Contributed by KJS Ahluwalia, Amritsar)
The Honourable Speaker

Lok Sabha

New Delhi

Subject: Witness statement in the ‘Cash-for-Votes’ scandal in Parliament on July 22, 2008 involving Shri Amar Singhji, General Secretary of the Samajwadi Party, Shri Ahmed Patelji, Political Secretary to the Congress President, and Shri Reoti Raman Singhji, MP and Samajwadi Party leader

Honourable Sir,

I am submitting this statement to your Honourable Self as a witness in the recent “Cash-for-Votes” scandal that rocked Parliament on July 22, 2008. All the information contained in this statement is based on Truth, and nothing but Truth, and I say this by invoking the name of Allah or God Almighty. My life is in threat, but I am ready to sacrifice my life for the Truth contained in this statement. My only wish is that my body may be buried near the Jama Masjid adjoining Parliament.

Let me introduce myself as a devoted Muslim and a patriotic Indian. My original name was Suhail Ahmed, which I later changed to Suhail Hindustani. I am a small-scale trader of gems and jewelry. I had a shop (Bobby Emporium, Shop No.6) in the shopping arcade of Janpath Hotel in New Delhi, which was closed down in April 2008. I hail from Jaipur. My parents and other members of my family live in Jaipur.

For the past nearly 15 years, I am also active as an ordinary social and political worker of the BJP. For many years I was a karyakarta in the BJP’s Yuva Morcha and have worked closely with Shri Shahnawaz Hussainji, MP, when he was a minister in Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayeeji’s Government. My family in Rajasthan has a long association with the BJP and the Jana Sangh. My grandfather was indeed known as Shri Sageer Mian ‘Janasanghi’ Peeli Topiwale, who worked in Tonk and Ajmer Sherif.

I have lived most of my life in Delhi in the official residence of some MP or the other. Besides my business, I do small errands and liaisoning work for MPs belonging to various parties. This, combined with the fact that I move around mostly in North Avenue and South Avenue, has enabled me to develop close acquaintances with people in various political parties and also with some in business circles. As a result, I have acquired good ground-level knowledge of the political developments in the corridors of power.

In early July, after the communist parties withdrew support to the UPA Government, the “market” (as the place for political wheeling-dealings is called) was abuzz with talk that opposition MPs would be offered huge amounts as bribes to either vote for the Government or abstain from voting. Some of the middlemen contacted me to find out if I knew any “plots” (codeword for MPs willing to cross-over for a consideration). I would ask them how much “paper” (codeword for the bribe amount) was on offer. Their reply — namely, that the amount was in the neighbourhood of Rs. 20-25 crore — took me by surprise.

I had been closely following the debate on the nuclear deal. From what I understood of the issue, I came to the conclusion that it was not in India’s interests and that it was a sell-out to America. In particular, I was well aware of the strongly critical sentiments about the nuclear deal, and about the US President George Bush, that prevailed in my (Muslim) community. I was therefore angry that, in its bid to go ahead with the nuclear deal, the UPA Government was indulging in horse-trading in order to save itself in the trust vote.

Around this time, I came to know from the “market” that a large number (over 15) of BJP and NDA MPs were being targeted by Shri Ahmed Patelji, Shri Amar Singhji and other leaders of the Congress and Samajwadi Party. I felt that the victory of Dr. Manmohan Singhji’s Government through defections from the BJP was neither good for the country nor good for the Party I support.

On July 17, I left for Bangalore by an Air Deccan flight for three days on some personal work. I returned to Delhi on July 20 by a morning Air Deccan flight and booked a room (no. 307) in the India Islamic Centre to conduct my operations from there. I contacted Shri S.P. Guptaji, an IAS officer of Haryana cadre who works closely with Shri Bhupinder Singh Hoodaji, Chief Minister of Haryana. He is the chief administrator of the Housing Board of Haryana. He was with me for over an hour at the coffee shop of the India Islamic Centre. He took the list of MPs from me and said, “I don’t want any money in this deal. But if your list of MPs is pucca, I will take you to meet Shri Hoodaji and Shri Ahmed Patelji, who will discuss the deal with you.”

While I was at the India Islamic Centre, a mushaira was being organised in the evening at the centre’s auditorium. I met Shri Uday Pratap Singhji, a Samajwadi Party MP, (also known as ‘Guruji’, since he is known as the Guru of Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav) outside the auditorium. I have great regard for him as an elderly politician who is wise and experienced. I told him that I had a list of opposition MPs who could be approached to support the Government, and added, “Mera kuchh kaam kar do, Guruji,” (Guruji, please do me a favour.) When I gave him the list, he told me that this work was being handled by Shri Amar Singhji and that I should contact him through Shri Reoti Raman Singhji. Shri Uday Pratap Singhji took my number and said that Shri Reoti Raman Singhji would call me on my mobile.

It was at this time that I decided to do something big in life to expose the scandal of bribing MPs by pretending to act as a middleman.

On July 21, at around 11.30 am, I phoned Shri Sudheendra Kulkarniji, a senior BJP activist who was OSD in the PMO when Shri Vajpayeeji was the Prime Minister. (His mobile number is 98109 33222). I have considerable respect for him due to my acquaintance with him when he used to live in the party full-timers’ rooms in the BJP headquarters at 11 Ashoka Road. He now works with Shri Advaniji. Therefore, I felt that he was the right person for me to convey the message that over a dozen BJP MPs were being approached by Congress-SP leaders.

Shri Kulkarniji took the names of BJP MPs from me and called me back in an hour’s time to say that he wanted me to meet him as soon as possible.

In the afternoon, at around 1.30 pm, Shri Guptaji phoned me and asked me to meet him at Claridges Hotel. He promised to arrange my meeting with Shri Ahmed Patelji. As we were having soup in the restaurant, two persons came to meet us — Shri Lovely Singh (son of Shri Buta Singhji, former Home minister and Governor of Bihar) and Shri Aman Arora, who was introduced as Shri Lovely Singh’s friend. They came in a black-coloured Honda CRB car. They asked me about the list of “Plots” (MPs) I had and questioned me about my contacts in the BJP. Shri Guptaji prepared the list as per the names mentioned by me. Soon thereafter, Shri Lovely Singh put a call through to Shri Ahmed Patelji from his mobile and gave it to me to speak to him. Shri Patelji asked me to come to his house at 23 Willingdon Crescent at 7.30 pm along with my “Plots”. When I asked Shri Lovely Singh and Shri Aman Arora about their mobile number, both of them gave, strangely, the same number: 9899909990.

Thereafter, I met Shri Kulkarniji and I gave him all the information I had. After posing many searching questions to me, he asked me, “What is your motive in giving this information to me?” Since I am from Rajasthan, I said, “I want to be Maharana Pratap, and not Mansingh. Raja Mansingh accepted the Mughal rule and, therefore, very few people in Rajasthan honour him today. In contrast, Maharana Pratap wandered in jungles, slept on the floor and ate rotis made of grass but did not surrender his self-respect before the Mughals. Therefore, tens of thousands of people gather every year to pay homage to him on his birth anniversary. I have seen this contrast with my own eyes.”

I told Shri Kulkarniji that I recalled these contrasting images when I was faced with two diametrically opposite options: either to pocket a few crore rupees by betraying the country and acting as a dalal in the horse-trading of MPs, or to show courage and earn the blessings of Allah.”

My words increased the trust and confidence that Shri Kulkarniji had developed in me. He then asked me if I would facilitate the whistle-blowing operation by a few BJP MPs to expose the bribery scandal. I readily and enthusiastically agreed. He asked me, “Aap ki pahunch kahan tak hai?” (How high-level are your contacts?). I offered to take the MPs to Shri Ahmed Patelji and Shri Amar Singhji. I told him that I had come to know from my contacts in the “market” that both were active in settling deals with non-UPA MPs willing to defy their respective party whips and support the Government.

Late in the afternoon of July 21, Shri Kulkarniji introduced me to three BJP Members of Parliament (Lok Sabha) — Shri Ashok Argalji, Shri Mahavir Baghoraji and Shri Faggan Singh Kulasteji. Shri Kulkarni also told me that a team from CNN-IBN was coming soon to work closely with the three MPs, record their whistle-blowing operation and telecast it.

My contacts in the Congress and SP circles were excited when I told them that three BJP MPs were willing to cross over. As mentioned earlier, Shri Lovely Singh had arranged my meeting with Shri Ahmed Patelji at 7.30 pm at the latter residence on Willingdon Crescent. Since the CNN-IBN team had not yet arrived, I requested for the meeting to be rescheduled. I was then informed that I could bring the MPs to meet Shri Ahmed Patelji to Le Meridien Hotel.

The CNN-IBN team, comprising Shri Siddharth Gautam, reporter, and Shri Sudesh, cameraman, arrived at Shri Kulkarniji’s residence at around 10.00 pm. They fitted hidden cameras behind the shirts worn by Shri Kulasteji and Shri Baghoraji, after which I took them to Meridien Hotel at around 11.00 pm. All three of us were driving in Shri Kulasteji’s vehicle bearing the MP’s label. Shri Argalji stayed behind at Shri Kulkarniji’s residence.

Upon reaching the hotel, Shri Lovely Singh told me that Shri Ahmed Patelji had left about 10 minutes earlier after having waited for the BJP MPs for quite some time. There were many Congress leaders in the lobby of the Hotel and the atmosphere was that of a ‘Ghodon ki Mandi’ (horses’ market). I am constrained to state here that, in CNN-IBN’s August 11 telecast of its sting operation on the ‘Cash-for-Votes’ scandal, the channel hid the information from its viewers that the visit to Meridien Hotel was to meet Shri Ahmed Patelji. The channel also showed no clips of the Congress leaders whom the two BJP MPs and I met in the hotel lobby.

From Meridien, we drove back to the residence of Shri Ashok Argalji at 4 Ferozshah Road. Apart from Shri Argalji and Shri Kulkarniji, I met two other persons from CNN-IBN there. One was Shri Saif Kidwai, who introduced himself as a producer, and a colleague of his whose name I do not know. Shri Siddharth Gautam of CNN-IBN told us that instead of going out to meet anybody with hidden cameras, it was better to invite the person to a safe room since the quality of recording would be much better. Accordingly, his team fitted cameras behind curtains in the drawing room in Shri Argalji’s house, and a listening device in an adjoining room.

After our failure to meet Shri Ahmed Patelji, I focused my efforts on meeting Shri Amar Singhji. When I contacted Shri Reoti Raman Singhji at his residence (telephone no: 2378 2233) from my mobile (no. 9999996060), he agreed to meet the three BJP MPs at Shri Argalji’s house. Shri Reoti Raman Singhji came at around 12.30. I introduced him to the three MPs. He told them that their interests would be taken care of if they agreed to support the Government. The MPs asked him how much they would be paid. He replied that the amount would be decided by Shri Amar Singhji and promised to take them to meet the SP leader. This entire meeting and conversation has been recorded by the CNN-IBN team on their hidden cameras.

During this meeting, I was partly inside Shri Argalji’s drawing room and partly in the adjoining room where Shri Siddharth Gautam, Shri Saif Kidwai, Shri Sudesh and the fourth member from the CNN-IBN team were listening to the conversation in the drawing room. Shri Kulkarniji was also present in the adjoining room.

Since it was late in the night, the MPs refused to go to Shri Amar Singhji’s house. However, Shri Reoti Raman Singhji phoned me the next morning, on July 22, and said that Shri Amar Singhji was waiting for the MPs at his residence (27 Lodhi Estate). Accordingly, I accompanied two MPs —Shri Argalji and Shri Kulasteji — to Shri Amar Singhji’s residence. I was wearing green half-trousers and a white t-shirt. Shri Baghoraji stayed behind at 4 Ferozshah Road. This was around 10 am.

We drove in a white Maruti Zen (DL 5CC 7218). I was sitting on the front seat next to the driver’s. Shri Argalji and Shri Kulasteji were sitting on the back seats. Shri Sidharth Gautam told us that he would travel ahead of us in a CNN-IBN car and capture on his camera our entry into, and exit out of, Shri Amar Singhji’s house.

Shri Amar Singhji welcomed the three of us warmly and treated us to dates and dry grapes. He was wearing white pyjama and a kurta of sky-blue colour. Thanking me for bringing the two MPs to meet him, he claimed that he had already “managed” the support of 275-285 MPs to ensure the survival of the UPA Government. Nevertheless, since Shri Reoti Raman Singhji had arranged the meeting, he would pay Rs. 3 crore to each MP if they abstained from the trust vote. At this point, Shri Argalji and Shri Kulasteji mentioned to him that they had one more BJP MP willing to abstain. Shri Amar Singhji told them that he would pay the same amount to Shri Baghoraji.

After this, Shri Amar Singhji spoke to somebody and informed that person that three more BJP MPs had agreed to abstain from voting. Once the conversation was over, he told us, “Aap ke baare mein main ne PM ko bata diya hai.” (I have informed the PM about you.) He then phoned Shri Ahmed Patelji from his mobile and said, “I have three more Kamals (Lotuses) here.” He made the two MPs speak to Shri Ahmed Patelji. From the conversation I could make out that Shri Amar Singhji and Shri Ahmed Patelji were working in a coordinated manner.

Shri Amar Singhji offered to pay the MPs a token amount of Rs. one crore and asked them to carry it with them. Shri Argalji and Shri Kulasteji said, “Hum nahin le jayenge. Bahar mediawalen khade hain.” (We won’t take it with us since mediapersons are standing outside your house.) Shri Amar Singhji then promised to send the amount with his assistant, Shri Sanjeev Saxena, within 10-15 minutes. The remaining amount of Rs. 8 crore, he assured them, would be paid to them after the trust vote

As we were coming out of his drawing room, I told Shri Amar Singhji, “Thakur Sahab, aap Thakur ho kar Marwadi ki tarah baat karte ho. Teen karod to bahut kum rakam hain.” (Thakur Sahab, being a Thakur you are talking like a Marwadi. Three crores is too small an amount.) He smiled at me and said, “Aap der se aaye. Raat ko MPs ko le aate to Ahmedbhai bhi yahin pe the.” (You came late. If you had brought the MPs last night, Ahmed Patel was also here and they would have met him.” I then asked him, “Thakur Sahab, mera kya hoga?” (What about my share?) He said, “Aap ka saamaan hum ne Golf Course mein rakha hai. Vahan jaa ke utha lena.” (Your amount is kept at Golf Course. Pick it up from there.)

While entering Shri Amar Singh’s house, I had seen Shri Siddharth Gautam and his colleague Shri Saif Kidwai. Also present were reporters and cameramen from several other TV channels. While I was inside Shri Amar Singhji’s drawing room, Shri Siddharth Gautam (his mobile no. is 98996 92321) phoned me on my mobile (9999996060) and said, “Please tell me what time you are leaving Shri Amar Singh’s house, so that I’ll be ready to shoot your car coming out of the house. I want to tell you that a lot of other mediapersons are also standing here.” This can be checked from my mobile call records and those of Shri Siddharth Gautam. We left Shri Amar Singh’s house at 10.48 am.

We left Shri Amar Singhji’s house to return to Shri Argal’s house at around 10.30 am. Within 15 minutes, his assistant Shri Sanjeev Saxena, accompanied by a well-built person, arrived at 4 Ferozshah Road in a white Gypsy car no. DL-3C-S-8562. The number was noted by a member of Shri Argalji’s staff. Before ushering Shri Saxena and his colleague (who was carrying two pistols hidden behind his clothes) into the drawing room, I told him, “Meri Shri Amar Singhji se baat karao, yeh maal bahut kum hai. Hum is par sauda nahin karenge.” (Make me speak to Shri Amar Singhji, because this amount is too small. We’ll not do not do the deal at this rate.”) Shri Saxena put the call through to Shri Amar Singhji, who told me that he would double the rate to Rs. 6 crore per MP. “If this is acceptable, the deal is on. Otherwise, I’ll ask my man to return immediately.”

I replied that the deal was acceptable. However, I did not have the time to communicate this part of the conversation with Shri Amar Singhji (about the rate being hiked from Rs. 3 crore to Rs. 6 crore) to the three MPs (who were inside the drawing room) as the next stage of the operation took place swiftly.

I then ushered Shri Saxena and his colleague into the drawing room in Shri Argal’s house, which had already been bugged by the CNN-IBN team with hidden cameras. His colleague was wearing a yellow-coloured shirt with long sleeves. I had seen this person, who looked like a security guard, at Shri Amar Singh’s house. He was carrying a small revolver hidden beneath his shirt. Shri Saxena had carried the money in a dark green bag and removed ten bundles of Rs. 10 lakhs each, most of it in currency notes of Rs. 1000, and placed them on a table.

After this, Shri Argalji introduced Shri Baghoraji to Shri Saxena as the third MP. Shri Baghoraji wanted to speak to Shri Amar Singhji for direct confirmation of the remaining amount to be paid. Shri Saxena tried to connect Shri Amar Singhji’s telephone number, which was repeatedly coming engaged. Finally, he got all three MPs to speak to Shri Amar Singhji. After this, I asked Shri Saxena for his mobile number, saying that I would like to remain in touch with him in future for any “chhota-mota kaam”. The number that Shri Saxena gave me was 9811721499. The CNN-IBN team has recorded these happenings on its hidden cameras.

After Shri Sanjeev Saxena left Shri Argal’s house, the CNN-IBN team filmed the serial numbers of the first and the last currency notes in the ten bundles. Shri Siddharth Gautam then interviewed with his regular camera the three MPs in the drawing room, with the amount of Rs. 1 crore displayed on the table. Shri Kulkarniji and I were not in the room when the interview was being conducted. But we watched it by standing outside near the door.

Thereafter, the three MPs packed the amount in two separate bags and left for Parliament. By this time, mediapersons had already started to arrive at Shri Argalji’s house. I, therefore, quietly sneaked out of the house, took a local bus to Dhaula Kuan, from where I boarded another bus at 2.30 pm to go to Jaipur. I arrived in Jaipur at around 7.30 pm.

I watched TV at around 8.00 pm and learnt that the Government had won the trust vote by securing 275 votes in its favour with 256 votes against and 10 abstentions. I was deeply disappointed. I switched to CNN-IBN to see if it was showing the tape of the sting operation. Although the channel was showing (indeed, all other channels were showing) the three MPs displaying the notes inside Parliament, there was no sign of the sting tape. I asked some people if the channel had shown the tape earlier. They had no knowledge of it. My disappointment and anger knew no bounds. I felt that the channel had betrayed the trust of the three MPs as well as the trust of all those who had facilitated the exposure of this bribery scandal.

All the information in this statement is true and factual. I am ready to be cross-examined by your Honourable Self or by the members of the inquiry committee appointed by you.

With kind regards,

Suhail Hindustani

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