'Bribed' MLA's police statement recorded in MP

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Bhopal, Mar 21 (UNI) Madhya Pradesh's Samajwadi Party (SP) legislator Kishor Samrite, who alleged that he was paid a bribe by the main opposition Congress to vote in favour of independent candidate Vivek Krishna Tankha in Rajya Sabha elections, today gave a roughly hour-long statement to police here.

Police said the statement was recorded in the presence of Additional Superintendent of Police G K Pathak. Besides presenting evidence, Mr Samrite urged that his cellphone records be should included.

''I handed over a letter inviting me to a March 12 meeting organised by Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Jamuna Devi.

On March 14, Congress state President Suresh Pachouri and other leaders tempted me with money at a meeting in Mr Pachouri's residence,'' the MLA told UNI.

Money was again ''offered'' on March 17 during a discussion with Ms Devi in her chamber in the presence of other Congress leaders.

Former minister N P Prajapati came to Mr Samrite the following day and allegedly handed over Rs 10 lakh.

When pointed out that SP state President Narayan Tripathi said that SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and General Secretary Amar Singh decided to make Mr Tankha an independent candidate, the MLA said, ''if that is the case then why were Mr Pachouri and other senior Congress leaders present when Mr Tankha was submitting his nomination papers?'' It could not be denied that the SP was trying to come closer to the Congress, he claimed adding that SP 'bigwigs' were probably apprehensive of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.

Reiterating that he would boycott the March 28 polling for the Rajya Sabha, the MLA said, ''I am in touch with seniors in my party and will place all the facts before them when the time is ripe.'' UNI SD-AC JT DB2144

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