Bribery scandal can become major issue before assembly polls

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Bhopal, Mar 19 (UNI) The bribery scandal that broke just before the Rajya Sabha election could turn out to be an important issue before the assembly election due in Madhya Pradesh at the end of this year.

SP legislator Kishor Samrite, who enjoys the reputation of a maverick political leader, created a flutter when he claimed that he had been offered Rs 10 lakh bribe to vote in the favour of Congress-supported independent candidate Vivek Tankha.

The Lanji MLA, who went against the party whip to vote in favour of Mr Tankha, said he intended to rid politics of the evil of horse-trading.

The scandal dealt a big blow to the main opposition Congress but controlled reaction from the BJP indicated that it did not want to hastily make comments over the issue.

Meanwhile, Mr Tankha had complained to the Election Commission alleging political conspiracy and Mr Samrite's ill-feeling towards him.

Three seats for the Rajya Sabha are vacant in Madhya Pradesh. The BJP is set to get elected from two seats but the third seat could be little difficult with the Congress allegedly resorting to horse-trading.

Law experts opine that Mr Tankha's candidature would not be affected by this disclosure at present. However, conclusion of police and other investigating agencies could create a political storm in the future.

The Congress was in a state of shock following the SP legislator taking names of senior Congress leaders. The BJP would also leave no stone unturned to put the Congress in the dock over the issue.

Though the answer to several questions raised by the scandal lies to the future, the matter has the potential to become a big political issue before next assembly elections.

UNI SD-PS MSJ HT2145

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