New Delhi: Suhail Hindustani, a former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) worker, was arrested for the 2008 cash-for-votes controversy in parliament, making him the second accused to be taken into custody, police said Wednesday.
“He was arrested after around eight hours of questioning,” said a police officer, adding that Hindustani came to their office at 10.30 a.m. and was quizzed till 6 p.m.
Police Tuesday issued notice to Hindustani, asking him to appear for questioning before July 20.
Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh’s former private secretary Sanjeev Saxena was the first person to be arrested in the case July 16.
Saxena had alleged that Amar Singh, who was then a member of the Samajwadi Party, had provided Rs.1 crore for buying the support of three BJP MPs in a trust vote in 2008.
Alleged middleman Hindustani also levelled the same allegations against Amar Singh, saying he was the “main” man behind the scandal.
Saxena is understood to have told police that Amar Singh’s driver Sanjay had gone along with him to deliver the money – as claimed by BJP MPs Fagan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora.
The two were among the three MPs who had claimed they were paid to abstain from the Lok Sabha trust vote sought by the Manmohan Singh government after the Left withdrew support over the Indo-US nuclear deal. The MPs have told police that Amar Singh had introduced Saxena as his secretary.
Saxena told the police that he made a number of calls to Amar Singh July 21 and 22, 2008, before and after the cash was delivered. Amar Singh, however, denied that Saxena was his aide. The case, which has been activised by the recent intervention of the Supreme Court, is turning into a political slugfest, with the BJP and Congress trading charges.
Police are also trying to recover Saxena’s phone which was used to make the calls, and are looking for Sanjay, the driver. Saxena was caught on camera paying BJP MPs Kulaste, Bhagora and Ashok Argal bribes ahead of the confidence vote.
Kulaste, Argal and Bhagora had waved several bundles of notes inside the Lok Sabha July 22, 2008, alleging that they were offered Rs.1 crore to abstain. A seven-member parliamentary committee was set up soon after the cash-for-votes scam. The committee had directed the Delhi Police to investigate the case.