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BJP demands UPA government's resignation

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday demanded the "immediate" resignation of the Manmohan Singh government in the wake of the revelations in leaked US diplomatic cables that payoffs had been made to MPs to ensure majority in confidence vote in 2008.

delhi Updated: Mar 17, 2011 12:08 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday demanded the "immediate" resignation of the Manmohan Singh government in the wake of the revelations in leaked US diplomatic cables that payoffs had been made to MPs to ensure majority in confidence vote in 2008.

The issue was raised in both houses of parliament. The furore over the issue saw both houses being adjourned till 12 noon.

"It is conclusively clear that this government survived on the basis of a political sin," said BJP's Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley at the start of the session.

"The government which survived on the strength of such a political or moral sin has no authority. We demand that this government must resign immediately," Jaitley said.

The Wikileaks diplomatic cables published by The Hindu newspaper quoted the political aide of Congress leader Satish Sharma as saying that a fund of Rs 50 crore had been formed to pay MPs for the confidence vote.

A US embassy official was apparently shown with two chests of cash in the political aide's house, kept for the payoffs.

In the Lok Sabha, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said that the information in the cables was a big blot on Indian democracy.

"There is no bigger shamelessness than this...that people were showing war chests to outsiders," she said, adding that the government has lost the moral authority to be in power.

In both houses of parliament, there was uproar when opposition leaders tried to speak, with Congress members objecting and getting up on their feet.