Address essence of political corruption, says Jaitley

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 23, 2011 10:17 hrs

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday discussed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement on the 2008 cash-for-votes scandal, with opposition leader Arun Jaitley saying the 'essence of political corruption has to be addressed'.

'The very essence of political corruption in this country has to be addressed,' Jaitley said, initiating the debate.

He said the revelations by Wikileaks on the scandal were verifiable if the government wanted to verify them.

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'If the government of India wants to verify and you have honesty of purpose, they are verifiable because some of the evidence is very strong evidence in a criminal case of bribe giver,' Jaitley said.

He said that legal agreements are in place between India and the US. And through those routes, the comments can be verified.

'We have legal systems in place, you don't escape from crime because a witness has crossed over. There are systems, it can be verified,' Jaitley said, attacking the prime minister who Friday said the revelations made in the leaked American embassy cables were unverifiable.

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The cables relate to the ruling Congress allegedly trying to garner support for the government during the 2008 trust vote by bribing MPs.

Jaitley alleged that the shortfall in members during the trust vote was covered by 'retail purchase of parliamentarians'.