Senior BJP leaders LK Advani and Arun Jaitley on Wednesday visited Tihar Prisons to meet Sudheendra Kulkarni and former party MPs - Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora - lodged at the jail in connection with the cash-for-vote scam as the party mounted strong defence of the "sting operation".
Kulaste and Bhagora along with their colleague Ashok Argal had displayed wads of currency notes in Parliament during the 2008 trust vote and alleged that the money was given to them to buy their votes. The trust vote was held after the Left parties pulled out of the UPA-1 over the Indo-US nuclear. Kulkarni and the two former MPs are in judicial custody.
LK Advani had accepted in Parliament that he was aware of the sting operation and offered to court arrest if the former MPs were found guilty.
Jaitley on Wednesday insisted that charges of "entrapment" could not co-exist with the Delhi Police's prima facie acceptance that bribes were paid. His logic: if bribes were offered, the sting operation to expose it was "whistleblowing" and not "entrapment".
Jaitley also tried to address the question posed by Congress leaders as to why the BJP MPs did not go to police.
"According to the SC's JMM judgment, as money was given to cast votes in Parliament, the jurisdiction was with Parliament," Jaitley said, thus defending the former MPs' decision to display the "bribe money" in Parliament.