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CPM's high ground: My criminal MP more moral than your criminal MP

CPM's high ground: My criminal MP more moral than your criminal MP

Author: Manoj C G
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: July 18, 2008
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/story/337119.html

Slams UPA for getting jailbirds to vote, forgets same jailbirds trotted out for President Patil and V-P Ansari

Trust the Left to take the moral high ground and not let facts get in the way.

A year ago, jailed RJD MPs Pappu Yadav and Mohammed Shahabuddin helped the UPA-Left nominee Pratibha Patil become the first woman President by casting their votes in a crunch situation.

Yadav and Shahabuddin also voted in favour of Hamid Ansari, the Left's nominee for the Vice Presidential candidate later.

But now the CPM, after its separation from the UPA, is citing "political morality" to slam the ruling alliance's attempts to bring both these jailbirds and LJP MP Suraj Bhan to take part in the crucial July 22 trust vote.

And not naming those jailbird MPs who are likely to vote on the same side as the Left.

"While legally they may get the right to attend Parliament and vote, there is a question of political morality involved," said a CPM Politburo statement today. "The Congress leadership will be seen by the entire country as taking recourse to convicted criminals for sustaining their government."

Yadav was convicted in the CPM MLA Ajit Sarkar murder case and Shahabuddin is jailed in a case of kidnapping with intent to murder. Both had voted in favour of both Patil and Ansari.

While Yadav represents the Madhepura Lok Sabha seat, Shahabuddin is elected from Siwan constituency.

Interestingly, the CPM Politburo's statement today mentioned the names of only Yadav, Shahabuddin and Bhan, omitting jailbirds who are expected to vote against the UPA.

These include BSP's Umakant Yadav, Samajwadi Party's Afzal Ansari and expelled SP MP Atiq Ahmed who are being aggressively courted by the BSP.

So far, Ansari hasn't switched, claim SP leaders, while Atiq Ahmed has already said he will vote against the UPA government.

Phoolpur MP Ahmed, expelled from the Samajwadi Party after his name figured in BSP MLA Raju Pal murder case, had voted in favour of Left nominee Ansari defying a party whip to vote for UNPA candidate Rashid Masood.

When asked why the Left had not opposed Yadav and Shahabuddin voting during the Presidential election, CPM Central Committee member Nilotpal Basu said, "That we will have to see, those circumstances were different and not the same as this."

CPM leaders claim the party did not include the names of anti-UPA jailbird MPs because they were facing trial and were not convicted.

This argument rings hollow given that Shahabuddin was convicted in May, two months before he voted in the Presidential elections in July last year.

Significantly, the BSP, which has made common cause with the Left to oppose the nuclear deal, is wooing both Ansari, Ahmed, and Umakant Yadav, who was expelled from the party earlier for criminal activities.

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