Economy

US Embassy staff shown cash for ‘pay-offs’ in confidence vote: Wikileaks

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 17, 2011 Published on March 17, 2011

An aide of Congress leader Mr Satish Sharma allegedly showed a US Embassy employee “two chests containing cash” and said Rs 50-60 crore is ready for use as “pay-offs” to win the support of some MPs ahead of crucial vote of confidence in the UPA Government over the Indo-US nuke deal, claimed a set of US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks.

Noting that the Congress party machine was working “overtime” behind the scenes in the run-up to the confidence vote on July 22, 2008, the cables also claimed the party had allegedly paid Rs 10 crore to each of their “four RLD MPs’’.

The RLD chief, Mr Ajit Singh, denied the allegations of pay-offs and said the party voted against the Manmohan Singh Government since it was against the civil nuclear deal.

The cable claimed that Mr Nachiketa Kapur, Mr Sharma’s political aide, mentioned to an Embassy staff member in an aside on July 16, 2008 that Mr Ajit Singh’s RLD had been paid Rs 10 crore for each of their “four MPs” to support the Government.

Mr Kapur reportedly mentioned that the money was not an issue at all, but the crucial thing was to ensure that those who took the money would vote for the Government, according to the cable sent from the US Embassy to the US State department dated July 17, 2008.

Mr Kapur showed the Embassy employee “two chests containing cash” and said that “around Rs. 50-60 crore (about $25 million) was lying around the house for “use as pay-offs”, the cable claimed.

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Published on March 17, 2011
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