Wiki-expose: US says no comments on cash-for-votes

Posted By: Pti
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Washington, Mar 18: The US today declined to comment on a WikiLeaks cable, which sparked allegations that UPA-I purchased the support of MPs to survive the trial of strength at the height of crisis over Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008. But noted it favours greater government transparency world over.

"I'm not going to say it's (cable) classified or not, but certainly if it is classified, we wouldn't speak about it, and we're not going to speak about it in any way, shape or form," US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters at his daily news conference.

He was responding to a question on the uproar in India over the WikiLeaks cable that claimed an aide of former Union Minister Satish Sharma had shown to the diplomat the currency chests that were part of Rs 50 crore to Rs 60 crore money collected by Congress for purchase MPs for the vote in the Lok Sabha.

"Does the US condone such open corruption in other governments?" a reporter asked Toner.

The spokesman replied: "To your broader question about corruption in government, of course the US is always for greater transparency in governments throughout the world because transparency in government leads to better political systems that are able to, you know, help the people that they represent."

"More broadly, we deal with corruption issues in many countries throughout the world. That's an important part of our assistance efforts to many countries in the world. But specifically what pertains to India, I really can't speak to that," he added.


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