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Upendra Kushwaha admits taking money, says it’s not ‘graft’

“Can’t a person ask for support from anybody if he needs help. The money was never used for party purposes and it does not come under the category of corruption,” he told media persons.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 14, 2019 11:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Patna
Upendra Kushwaha,Kushwaha money for ticket,ticket graft
RLSP leader Upender Kushwaha(HT)

Patna

Former union minister and RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha on Wednesday denied the allegations levelled by former union minister Nagmani that he was involved in selling a “party ticket for Rs 9 crore.”

He, however, admitted that he accepted the money “but they were for personal needs”.

“Can’t a person ask for support from anybody if he needs help. The money was never used for party purposes and it does not come under the category of corruption,” he told media persons.

Former RLSP leader Nagmani had on Tuesday levelled serious charges against Kushwaha. “Kushwaha has already sealed the deal for Motihari Lok Sabha seat for a consideration of Rs 9 crore with Madhaw Anand even as he continued to accept monetary gratification from another contender Pradeep Mishra for the same constituency,” he had said at a press conference.

Mishra, who was also part of Nagmani’s press conference, said that Kushwaha has accepted two account to account transfers of Rs 45 lakh each in his SBI, Parliament House branch account—31286341829—in the name of giving party ticket for Motihari LS seat.

Kushwaha on Wednesday said all these charges were “absurd” as the seats that his party would be contesting were yet to be finalised.

“I challenge expelled RLSP leaders Pradeep Mishra and Nagmani, who made the allegations, to prove the charges,” he said. “I know who is their sutradhar (puppeteer),” Kushwaha said. “They are saying all this when even I do not know which seats, out of the 40 in the state, RLSP is going to get,” Kushwaha told mediapersons.

Kushwaha played an audio clip of Mishra’s at the press meet and said, “You can hear him saying at one point that I sold him the ticket. In the same breath, he also says he had given me the money for running the party and holding rallies.”

The former minister also countered the allegations of “sponsored” foreign trip. “I accept I had gone on a foreign trip. I am not hiding anything. A poor person like me cannot go on foreign tour.”

He also supported the demand for a CBI inquiry. “I want it as much as they do. The problem is, I have no authority to ask the probe agency to do so. The state government has,” Kushwaha said.

First Published: Mar 14, 2019 11:03 IST