Two key players, including former Union Minister Satish Sharma, whose name figures in the WikiLeaks cables in connection with allegations of bribing MPs to win the 2008 trust vote, today denied any role in the episode.
Rejecting the allegations, Sharma said he did not have any aide by the name of Nachiketa Kapur and the allegations were baseless.
"I have read The Hindu paper. It said I have an aide. I do not have any political aide. There was no aide of me by the name of Kapur as reported by the paper," Sharma said.
US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks claimed that an aide of 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 UPA government over the Indo-US nuke deal.
Kapur, the other player named in the cable, also denied the allegations as "malicious".
"I vehemently deny this malicious allegations," he said.
Asked whether he met an official from the US Embassy, Kapur said he never met the US official. "No, I did not meet him."
When asked about the allegations of him stashing Rs 50-60 crore, Kapur said, "There was no cash so pointing out does not arise."
RLD chief Ajit Singh also denied the allegations of his party MPs taking bribe to vote in favour of the Government.
"Our party was against the nuclear deal and incidentally the recent event in Japan has vindicated us. We had extensive discussions with the TDP, TRS and Left and we decided to vote against the government and we did vote against the government," Singh said.
The cable claimed that Kapur, Sharma's political aide, mentioned to an Embassy staff member in an aside on July 16, 2008 that Ajit Singh's RLD had been paid Rs. 10 crore for each of their "four MPs" to support the government.
Kapur reportedly mentioned that 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. Kapur showed the Embassy employee "two chests containing cash" and said that "around Rs. 50-60 crore (about 25 million USD ) was lying around the house for "use as pay-offs", the cable claimed.