BJP conspiracy behind MLA bribing, says Cong

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Bhopal, Mar 19 (UNI) Congress and other opposition parties in Madhya Pradesh today described as ruling BJP's conspiracy bribing of Samajwadi Party MLA Kishor Samrite to vote in favour of Congress-supported independent candidate Vivek Tankha for the Rajya Sabha election, while BJP declared to launch a state-wide political agitation against Congress.

''Allegation by Mr Samrite that he was offered bribe of Rs 10 lakh does not hold water and is confusing,'' said Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Jamuna Devi, adding that Mr Samrite was a liar.

Charging the involvement of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the conspiracy to tarnish the image of Mr Tanka, she said Mr Chouhan himself was embroiled in alleged corruption in dumper purchase case and Mr Tankha was the counsel against chief minister.

Regarding the demand for an inquiry by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Ms Jamuna Devi said the party did not make any such such demand but was ready for any type of inquiry.

Denying to have offered bribe, Congress MLA Rajendra Singh admitted that he had visited Mr Samrite once as an election agent of Mr Tankha and also talked to him on phone to inform about the whip issued by SP but no offer was made about money for voting.

SP state unit President Narayan Tripathi put his party MLA in the dock saying when the party had issued a whip in favour of Mr Tankha then there was no question of bribing Mr Samrite.

''Mr Samrite's integrity is doubtful and he is making allegations at the behest of BJP as part of its conspiracy'', said Mr Tripathi, adding that Mr Samrite would be removed from the party if he violated the whip.

Condemning the bribing case, state BJP President Narendra Singh Tomar said Congress was making a face saving attempt as it had a history of indulging in horse-trading.

''BJP has 50 votes extra hence it fielded a third candidate and party will consider taking the issue to the Election Commission,'' Mr Tomar said, adding the government would provide security to Mr Samrite.

UNI AG-KV-SP 1510

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