18 Apr 2011

Indian Pm Denies Government Bought Parliamentary Votes

Another Wikileaks-based scandal errupted in India, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh denying that his government bribed lawmakers in a vote-of-confidence in 2008.

The scandal over cash-for-votes is just one more problem that the Indian PM must deal with, as other scandals concerning graft over licenses for telecom companies and apartments for war-widows going to lawmakers embroil Mr. Singh. The latest allegations emerged when an American diplomatic cable detailing the alleged bribery was released by Wikileaks. The Indian parliamentary opposition forced an early adjournment for a few hours on Friday and demanded that PM Singh resign his post.

According to Reuters, the scandal is not likely to result in PM Singh’s resignation, especially given that the allegations are so old. However, Mr. Singh’s reputation as an honest elder statesman has been tarnished. The diplomatic cable stated that that four lawmakers of a regional party had been paid 100 million rupees (1.37 million pounds) each to secure their support in the vote, which Singh won.

The original story from Reuters can be found here.