CPI(M) seeks Parliamentary probe into alleged TMC bribery video

PTI  | Deccan Chronicle

Nation, Current Affairs

‘The sting’s credibility needs to be checked,’ Sitaram Yechury said in Rajya Sabha.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury demanded a probe into the video. (Photo: ANI/Twitter)

New Delhi: Alleging "match-fixing" between the government and Trinamool Congress, CPI(M) members on Wednesday created uproar in Rajya Sabha over a sting, allegedly showing some TMC MPs taking bribe, and sought a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the "very serious" matter.

As soon as the listed papers were laid and the Zero Hour began, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said there were two notices on the issue, but the Chairman had not admitted them.

Kurien, however, allowed Derik O'Brien (TMC) and Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) to speak on the issue.

Rubbishing the allegations, Derek said first of all it should be checked if the person who carried out the sting operation was a journalist and questioned the authenticity of the video.

"The sting’s credibility needs to be checked," he said, alleging foreign money was coming to India from Dubai just before the elections in West Bengal.

In a bid to corner ruling party in poll-bound West Bengal, CPI(M) member Sitaram Yechury demanded investigation into the video. In the meantime, his party members trooped into the Well shouting slogans.

"Why is the government not ordering an investigation? It looks like they are also complicit," Yechury said, adding there was "match-fixing going on between the two (government and TMC)".

As protests by the Left party continued in the Well seeking a JPC probe into the video, Kurien said CPI(M) members "have a reputation of not coming into the Well of the House, and now they are breaking the tradition."

To this, Yechury said: "We came into the Well as we want to uphold the integrity of the House. Our members are caught taking money. House Committee should investigate. Let there be a JPC".

Referring to an earlier incident, the senior CPI(M) leader said the Lok Sabha Speaker had taken suo motu action when a bribe allegation had surfaced.

He said the TMC was not willing to listen to "legitimate voices", as Derek questioned the authenticity of the video.

Yechury said the Chair had referred the Vijay Mallya case to the Ethics Committee and asked why it cannot be done in this case.

Kurien replied: "At that time the House was unanimous. Now the House is divided" as one side believes the video and the other says it is doctored.

During almost the entire Zero Hour, CPI(M) members kept raising slogans from the Well of the House. Amid din, some other members raised their Zero Hour mentions.