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Demanding the resignation of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh , over a WikiLeaks disclosure that indicated that the Congress paid lawmakers to survive a vote of confidence in 2008, senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani today said Singh has no moral authority to lead the government

Talking to reporters here, Advani said: “The Prime Minister must take responsibility and resign…he has no moral authority to lead the government.”

The prime minister must quit forthwith,” he said, adding that in July 2008 also, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had maintained that the vote of confidence won by the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was influenced by bribery.

Advani further said that that Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee‘s defence that the matter had ended with the 14th Lok Sabha was an “incredible” defence.

“There is no end to scandal and stinks that accompany this government,” he said.

“After this exposure, we say that this government has lost its moral right to continue for a single moment,” Advani added.

Earlier, defending Dr Singh, Mukherjee said it was not possible for the government to either confirm or deny the contents of the cables.

“I cannot either confirm this or deny the WikiLeaks revelation. The Government elected is accountable to the 15th Lok Sabha and not to the 14th Lok Sabha,” Mukherjee said.

However, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley pointed his finger at Mukherjee and said, “You are guilty of a cover-up.”

“Outside the House, an offence of bribery is not accepted. If what has appeared is correct, it is a commission of an offence in India. Diplomatic immunity may be available to US diplomats, but the same immunity can’t be used by Indians in India. Where is the question of the finance minister claiming that immunity?” said Jaitley.

“If he satisfies what appeared in the newspaper is an admissible evidence in any court of the law, I will be satisfied. ‘That what appeared is an admissible evidence in any court of law in India as per the laws’, this is the submission I want him to make,” an agitated Mukherjee said while trading charges with Jaitley.

Earlier, a set of India-related diplomatic cables on the Indo-US nuclear deal released by the WikiLeaks, claims that an aide of Congress leader Satish Sharma had told a US diplomat that the party had paid crores to several lawmakers to ensure that they voted for the deal in Parliament.

In a cable dated July 17, 2008 sent to the US State Department, Charge d’Affaires Steven White wrote about a conversation that the embassy’s political counsellor had with Rajya Sabha MP Satish Sharma.

 

 

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