New Delhi: Sudheendra Kulkarni, ex-advisor to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) former MPs, who were accused in the 2008 cash-for-votes scam, walked out of Tihar jail on Thursday. Kulkarni and former MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora were granted bail by the Delhi High Court on Wednesday on the grounds that there was no evidence to support their involvement in the illegal gratification that rocked parliament ahead of a trust vote.

As the three came out of the high-security jail, a large number of BJP supporters chanted slogans and garlanded them. Many danced in celebration as drums were beaten.

On July 22, 2008, MP Ashok Argal, Kulaste and Bhagora waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha just hours ahead of a trust vote, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government. Kulkarni has been charged as co-conspirator and master-minding the entire event along with former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, who had earlier been granted bail.

Speaking to mediapersons outside the jail, Bhagora said he would expose corrupt people in future too.

“I am fighting for the party and truth and there is no personal agenda,” he said.

Government indeed tried to buy MPs


Meanwhile, a day after six accused in the cash-for-votes case got bail, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was indeed trying to buy votes ahead of the 2008 trust motion in Parliament. Reiterating the party stand, BJP Spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said that the former MPs of the party who were arrested in the case were only whistle-blowers.

“The Congress-led UPA government was indeed trying to purchase MPs, and we are there as whistle-blowers,” Sitharaman told reporters.

'”The fact is that there is no intention of giving or taking bribe. There is no motive for giving or taking bribe...so it is very clearly indicative that they participated in a whistle-blowing operation,” she said.

Sitharaman added that the whole operation was done with the knowledge of a media house, so it proved there was no conspiracy.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, ex-advisor to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and former BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahabir Singh Bhagora, Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh's former aide Sanjeev Saxena and alleged political activist Suhail Hindustani were given bail by the Delhi High Court on Wednesday.

The high court also gave anticipatory bail to sitting BJP MP Ashok Argal, an accused in the case.

On July 22, 2008, Argal, Kulaste and Bhagora waved wads of currency notes in the Lok Sabha just hours ahead of a trust vote, alleging they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.

Saxena was accused of delivering Rs.1 crore to Kulaste, Bhagora and Argal under an alleged conspiracy to buy their votes for the Congress-led UPA government in the trust motion.

Sitharaman said that the Supreme Court judgment in the case of alleged bribing of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MPs, during a trust vote faced by the Congress-led P.V. Narasimha Rao government in 1993, said Parliament was competent authority to deal with such issues.

Agencies