New Delhi, Jul 25: Samajwadi Party MP Rewati Raman Singh was today questioned in connection with the 2008 cash-for-vote scam by Delhi Police which is all set to quiz BJP lawmaker Ashok Argal in connection with the case this evening.
A senior police official said the Crime Branch team led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Chand grilled Rewati Raman for about 90 minutes while Argal will be questioned later this evening.
Argal will be the fifth person to be quizzed in the past 10 days after the Supreme Court came down heavily on investigators for carrying out a shoddy probe. Rewati Raman, the 68-year-old Allahabad MP, said he told police what he told the Parliamentary panel which looked into the scam.
“I have told them what I have told the Parliamentary panel. The case is before Supreme Court now. I want the conspiracy behind the whole episode exposed,” he told reporters.
The questioning of Rewati Raman comes three days after his former party colleague Amar Singh was questioned by the investigators. Two persons Sanjeev Saxena, former aide of Amar Singh, and Suhail Hindustani, an alleged go-between Amar Singh and BJP sought to be bribed, were arrested after quizzing. The aim of questioning is to ask Rewati Raman about the telephone call he received from Hindustani on the midnight of July 21 and 22 to strike a deal to buy BJP MPs and to know why he went to the house of Argal as alleged by the other side, a senior police official said.
Police had already given a virtual clean chit to Rewati Raman and others saying it was Hindustani only who tried to approach them for striking a deal for MPs to vote in favour of the UPA government.
Investigators believe that Hindustani is the “master orchestrator” of the scam and tried to entrap leaders of Samajwadi Party and it was with this purpose that he telephoned Rewati Raman.
Police claimed that none of the Congress leaders or SP leaders mentioned by Hindustani had made any effort to contact him to strike a deal.The probe in the three-year-old scam gathered momentum last week after the Supreme Court came down heavily on Delhi Police for its “callous” investigations in the case. In their statement to the Parliamentary panel, the three BJP MPs who were sought to be bribed—Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora—alleged that on July 21, 2008 evening, they received a message from Rewati Raman that he would meet them at Argal's residence. “He came after midnight.
He promised us that our interests would be taken care of and that we should accompany him to meet Amar Singh. He further maintained that we should have a face-to-face meeting with Amar Singh and that he would settle all issues including the amount payable to us. The entire meeting and conversation was recorded...,” they said.
Refuting the allegations, Rewati Raman told the Parliamentary panel that neither he intended to do this nor he took any initiative.
“Ashok Argal met me and said that he wanted to come to my residence in the evening. I asked him the purpose. He replied that he would tell only when he would come to my residence.
“I said that he was welcome and could come in the evening. He came to my residence in the evening and said that his Lok Sabha seat has gone in delimitation and he had two colleagues one from Rajasthan and the other from Madhya Pradesh. PTI