New Delhi: A trial court on Tuesday rejected the interim bail plea of Sudheendra Kulkarni, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani’s former aide, in the cash-for-votes scam. Kulkarni will be in judicial custody till 1 October.
The scam dates back to 22 July 2008, when some BJP members of Parliament (MPs) waved wads of currency notes on the floor of the Lok Sabha ahead of a trust vote faced by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. The legislators claimed they were given the money to vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government.
Kulkarni sought interim bail on the grounds that his regular bail plea was pending before the court and he had not been arrested during the probe into the case.
“I was only a whistle-blower and my purpose was to expose the rampant corruption,” Kulkarni said in his interim bail plea filed through advocate Mahipal Singh.
Delhi Police, in its charge sheet, has alleged that Kulkarni turned towards Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders to influence the 2008 trust vote of UPA government after he failed to make inroads into the Congress camp.
Sudheendra Kulkarni at Tees Hazari court after he was summoned in the 2008 cash-for-vote scam, in New Delhi, on Tuesday. Photo: PTI
Kulkarni allegedly “masterminded” the conspiracy to bribe MPs and directed co-accused Suhail Hindustanito divert his efforts towards SP leaders, the police has said.
The BJP is rallying behind Kulkarni. “This is most unfortunate. Whistle-blowers are now being equated with bribe givers,” said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar. “Kulkarni only helped the law by exposing the scam.”
PTI contributed to this story.