New Delhi: CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury has accused the UPA government of using unfair means to defeat the Opposition's motion against bringing FDI in retail. Speaking to Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate, Yechury charged the government of bribing its way to secure a majority against the motion.
Below is an excerpt of the interview:
Karan Thapar: Gurudas Dasgupta, who is the CPI leader in the Lok Sabha, he said the government has put together a majority on the basis of material allurements. Those were his exact words. That amounts to a bribe. Do you believe that or not?
Sitaram Yechury: I don't know whether it's a bribe, but something extra has happened. Either a threat, or intimidation, or bribe, or a promise of doing something.
Karan Thapar: You are not ruling out the possibility the government bribed its way to a majority?
Sitaram Yechury: No, I am not ruling out because of my experience. 1993, when Narasimha Rao won the no-confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, came the JMM bribery case. 2008, when Manmohan Singh won the vote on Indo-US nuclear deal, came the cash-for-vote which the whole world saw.
Karan Thapar: You are saying the track record of the past suggests that there was some - let me put it euphemistically - some "hanky panky" this time?
Sitaram Yechury: Definitely.
Karan Thapar: But you have acknowledged to me that you don't rule out a bribe..
Sitaram Yechury: I am not ruling out anything. But there is definitely something, to use your words, "hanky panky".