Our diplomatic cables generally accurate: Mulford

Our diplomatic cables generally accurate: Mulford

"Certainly, reports from the US embassy in general are accurate," Mulford told CNN-IBN during a debate on the WikiLeaks expose, but added: "But I have nothing to say on this particular subject."

Mulford was US ambassador to India when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, in its first tenure in office, won a trust vote amid serious charges that bribes were paid to get some opposition members of parliament on board.

"The only thing in my memory is about the fact that in parliament at that time, a member came with a suitcase of money and dumped it on the table. That was fairly accurate," said the former US envoy.

He was referring to an episode in July 2008 when a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) turned up in the Lok Sabha with a suitcase full of money and said this was what was sought to be paid to him to vote in favour of the government's trust motion.

As per the cables, a US diplomat was told Rs.50-60 crore was kept aside by the Congress party to get some opposition members of the Lok Sabha on board before the trust vote in July 2008 during the first tenure of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

But the former US envoy declined comment. "I am not able to answer that question since this has just come out," he said, reiterating that what, indeed, had happened was the opposition member of parliament's action of showing alleged money paid to him.

Mulford's comments came soon after Manmohan Singh had vehemently denied both in parliament and at a media conclave that any wrongdoing had been done during the trust vote, even doubting the veracity of the WikiLeaks cables.

"I wish to make it clear that no one from the Congress party or the government indulged in any unlawful act during the trust vote during July, 2008," he said in an identical statement to the two houses of parliament. "The government rejects that allegation absolutely and firmly," he said, adding: "It is unfortunate that the opposition continues to raise old charges that have been debated, discussed and rejected by the people of India."