Cong asks Bardhan to get evidence on MPs being offered money

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New Delhi, Jul 16 (UNI) Charging that CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan had brought disrepute to the entire Parliament, the Congress today asked the veteran Left leader to substantiate his allegation that MPs were being offered Rs 24 crore each for voting in favour of the government in the July 22 trust vote.

Terming the charges as ''shocking, baseless, unfair and unwarranted'', AICC spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told mediapersons that Mr Bardhan was also duty bound to produce evidence and name those who had allegedly received the amount and offered the bribe.

''If Mr Bardhan fails to produce the evidence, he owes an apology to the people of India for bringing MPs and Parliament to slanderous disrepute,'' she said.

Asked if the Congress would move a privilege motion against Mr Bardhan for damaging the reputation of the MPs, she said ''let me first see what evidence he produces.'' Ms Natarajan noted that rumours, slander and innuendo were part and parcel of politics which are not taken seriously by the public.

''But on this occasion, it is regrettable that these wild alegations were made by such a senior person like the CPI General Secretary...when a leader of the stature and seniority of Mr Bardhan makes such derogatory charges, he acquires resonance in the public mind and distrubs the peace and confidence of an ordinary citizen,'' she underlined.

In this context, the AICC spokesperson observed that ''this sets a very bad, dangerous and unhealthy trend in the country in terms of erosion of confidence in the political class.'' Ms Natarajan said Mr Bardhan had made sweeping allegations against Lok Sabha MPs as a whole and thereby brought entire Parliament into disrepute.

Asked about the chances of the UPA government's survival, she said ''we will win the trust vote. Those who are opposing the nuclear deal are not acting in the interests of the nation.'' UNI SH ATI HS1846

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