''Bribe money'' now in Parliament strong room

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New Delhi, Jul 22 (UNI) The Rs one crore which shook the Lok Sabha this afternoon is safely stashed away somewhere reportedly in the strong room of the highly guarded Parliament House.

''It is not with us...we are not in picture,'' said a Delhi Police spokesperson.

Meanwhile, sources in the security establishment indicated that the money could be safely stashed away in the lockers of Parliament House.

''The Speaker is charge of the money till a fresh decision is taken by him,'' said an official.

Indian democracy today suffered a major jolt two hours before voting on the confidence motion of the 50-month-old Manmohan Singh government as the Lok Sabha witnessed display of money that had allegedly changed hands as part of ''shameless horse-trading.'' There was disbelief and confusion at 1600 hrs when BJP members trooped into the well of the House and started taking out bundles of currency notes of Rs 1000 denomination and stacking them on the table of the Secretary General P D T Achary.

Caught unawares, Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal left the chair as the BJP members were still taking out wads of currency notes totalling Rs one crore which was allegedly paid to three BJP members as an advance of the total deal for Rs three crore each to all of them for voting with the government.

As Speaker Somnath Chatterjee began discussions with the floor leaders of all political parties, the House was adjourned twice to facilitate him to decide on how to go ahead with the day's crucial business of putting the confidence motion to vote.

The Lok Sabha officials packed the money into a bag and took it away to an undisclosed location even as the House Marshals encircled the table.

UNI NAB/AN BDP RN2123

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