March 21, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Vancouver, CANADA (March 21, 2011): The news group Wikileaks revealed on Thursday that Indian Congress Party (INC) leaders showed U.S. officials cash they used to buy the support of MPs in a 2008 confidence vote. This revelation in the cash for votes scandal, described by the Canadian Sikh Coalition (CSC) as typical of Indian politics, also implicates Cabinet Minister Kamal Nath, who personally led a homicidal mob in 1984.
In 2008, India’s INC-led ruling coalition faced a vote of confidence over the controversial U.S.-Indo nuclear deal. The deal provides for the exchange of nuclear materials and technology between the two countries, even though India has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. After the vote, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politicians waved bundles of cash in parliament, alleging the INC bribed them for their support.
Cables sent to the U.S. Secretary of State by the U.S. embassy explain how INC-leader Satish Sharma’s aide showed off two chests full of cash to an embassy employee, stating it was from a fund of 500 to 600 million rupees marked for “pay-offs” to MPs opposed to the nuclear deal. The authenticity of the cables has not been questioned and their accuracy has been corroborated by then-Ambassador David Mulford.
“The confidence vote is a cherished expression of parliamentary democracy which permits the true voice of the people to be heard by their representatives,” said Parvkar Singh Dulai, Director of CSC (West). “Had the INC lost this vote, an election would have been called and the INC would have been held accountable to the will of the people. Instead, Manmohan Singh’s party turned the confidence vote into a confidence game. Since Canadian taxpayer money should not be wasted on corrupt politicians halfway around the world, we demand a swift end to any and all aid to India.”
An INC-member quoted in the cables claimed Cabinet Minister Kamal Nath was heavily involved in the scandal. Saying that Nath was “helping to spread largesse,” the insider stated: “He could only offer small planes as bribes; now he can pay for votes with jets.” Nath is no stranger to abusing the powers of political office. During the 1984 Sikh Genocide, eyewitnesses assert he was “controlling the crowd” when a violent mob of 4,000 Hindus destroyed Gurdwara Rakab Ganj in New Delhi.
Accusing the INC of having “survived on the strength of a political sin,” opposition leader L.K. Advani has demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resign immediately. While agreeing that Singh should resign, Jitender Singh Grewal, Director of CSC (East), cautioned that a BJP-led government would also be mired in corruption. He noted that while Congress may have pushed the nuclear deal, it was the BJP which conducted the Pokhran-II nuclear weapons tests in 1998.
“Recent decades demonstrate that Indian police and soldiers are used to humiliate and control ethnic and religious minorities no matter which party is in control,” remarked Grewal. “Advani’s support for Hindu supremacism is well known. In 1992, for instance, he personally led and instigated the violent Hindu mob which destroyed the 16th-century Babri Mosque. Yet while hundreds of millions of common Indians suffer daily caste discrimination, India’s ruling elite only worry about preserving their opulent lifestyles.”
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