Senior Congress leader Chaudhary Birender Singh has triggered a political controversy with his claim that a Rajya Sabha seat could be bought for Rs 100 crore,citing a specific example. While the BJP latched on to his remarks and accused the Congress of selling tickets,Singh said he has been quoted totally out of the context.
Once someone told me that he had a budget of Rs 100 crore to become a Rajya Sabha MP. But when he totalled the expenditure later,he found it was Rs 80 crore and he had ended up saving Rs 20 crore. Now you think,a man who succeeds in taking the membership of Rajya Sabha by spending Rs 80 crore or Rs 100 crore,what will they think about the poor, he said at a function in Jind.
As his remarks kicked up a political row,Singh said he has been quoted out of context and argued he was talking about the trend of moneybags entering politics. What I was saying was that people with money power are entering our political system and because of this the voice of the people,especially the poor,would be weakened, he clarified. Singh is a Congress Working Committee member.
I merely quoted a media report which was based on the figures of the Election Commission after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. It said according to the affidavits filed by the candidates,360-odd candidates are crorepatis and out of these a dozen or so are arabpatis. This I said was a matter of concern as certain people are in a position to get into power because of money power, Singh said. I am only saying that the voice of the poor is getting drowned due to rising influence of money in democracy, he added.
Attacking Singh,BJP spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Prakash Javadekar said he must be giving his own example. The Congress is in the habit of cutting deals. It has brought politics in the country to such a low level, he said.