MP backtracks on 'Rs.100 crore for Rajya Sabha' comment

Chandigarh/New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) Rajya Sabha member from Haryana and Congress leader Birender Singh Monday backtracked on a statement he made hours earlier that certain people were paying Rs.100 crore to "buy" a seat in the upper house of parliament.

The Congress MP at a public rally claimed that he knew the names of 20 people who had "paid" to get into the Rajya Sabha.

"Not one, but I will give you names of 20 (such) people," Birender Singh said while addressing a gathering in Yamunanagar town in Haryana Sunday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the Congress over Birender Singh's remarks.

Reacting to Birender Singh's remarks, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said it was tacit admission that "in Congress they are selling tickets".

"The Congress is synonymous with corruption," Javadekar alleged.

Birender Singh was a Congress national general secretary till recently and was tipped to become a union minister in the last cabinet reshuffle. However, his name was taken off at the last minute.

Birender Singh said Sunday that a Rajya Sabha member "had told me that his budget to become a Rajya Sabha member was Rs.100 crore. He said that his work was done in Rs.80 crore and he saved Rs.20 crore".

Birender Singh refused to name the MP and questioned the fate of politics if more such people entered the Rajya Sabha.

"You yourself make a guess. When people are successful in getting membership of Rajya Sabha by investing Rs 100 crore are able to get membership of Rajya Sabha, what will they think of the poor," Birender Singh told the gathering.

"They establish themselves there (Rajya Sabha) and then become part of the deals happening there," Birender Singh said.

However, the Congress MP backtracked on his statement later, saying that he never made the remarks. "I have not given any statement on these lines," Birender Singh said here Monday.

Birender Singh, a former Haryana minister and grandson of Haryana's famous leader of peasants Sir Chhotu Ram, is a known baiter of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Considered a top-rung Jat leader in the state, Birender Singh always felt that he never got his due as a politician, especially the chief ministership of Haryana.

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