BJP to 'felicitate' partymen,Kulkarni accused in cash-for-vote

BJP to 'felicitate' partymen,Kulkarni accused in cash-for-vote

BJP President Nitin Gadkari will chair a session tomorrow at the party headquarters here in which Kulkarni and the two former MPs- Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora-, who have been granted bail by the Delhi High Court, will be honoured. Ashok Argal, who was the third leader in the trio and is a sitting MP, is also likely to be present, party sources said.

The politicians and Kulkarni will also recount their experience in jail as well as about the case. It was not clear whether Suhail Hindustani, whom is said to be mastermind behind the sting operation, will also be felicitated.

Party sources said these people may also be felicitated on stage at the culmination rally of Advani's yatra on Sunday. Kulkarni may also take membership of the BJP in the near future, something which Gadkari is said to be keen on.

When the sting operation was conducted on the eve of the July 2008 Trust Vote in Lok Sabha, some sections of the BJP were not in favour of the exercise. Party leader Jaswant Singh has openly said that he had met Advani prior to the sting and asked him to drop the idea.

However, when these "whistle-blowers" were arrested during the last monsoon session of parliament, Advani said in the Lower House that if they are guilty, he too is guilty as he was aware of the sting operation. Advani maintained that he too should be sent to jail.

Later, Advani announced that he will take out a yatra against corruption and for good governance and clean politics. He said the inspiration for the yatra came from the arrest of the whistle-blowers.

Advani rued that while the "whistle-blowers" in cash-for-vote scam were in jail, the culprits and beneficiaries were roaming free. Kulkarni and the former MPs had called on Gadkari yesterday after they were released. The BJP President had decided in their presence that they should be felicitated, the sources said.

Advani, who is on the last leg of his yatra, had also called Kulkarni yesterday and congratulated him on his release. He has reportedly asked Kulkarni to be present at the November 20 rally in Delhi.

With the court case and the arrest of the "whistleblowers" as well as former SP leader Amar Singh among others, the cash-for-vote scam has come to the centre stage. With the winter session of Parliament beginning on November 22, the BJP wants to corner the government on the matter, along with other corruption cases like 2G spectrum allocation, Commonwealth Games and Adarsh Housing Society.