New Delhi, July 15 (KMS): The opposition parties’ joint Presidential candidate Yashwant Sinha has accused the ruling Hindutva Bharatiya Janata Party of indulging in horse trading in the election for the Indian’s highest constitutional post and sought a probe into it.
Yashwant Sinha said that the saffron (BJP) party was carrying out ‘Operation Kanwal (lotus)’, under which it was offering a “huge sum of money to non-BJP MLAs” to ensure its presidential candidate’s win as it is afraid of the outcome of a free and fair election.
Kanwal or lotus is the poll symbol of the BJP. In recent years, the opposition parties have been accusing the BJP of carrying out ‘Operation Kanwal’ to gain power in the states where it does not rule. The opposition uses the term to describe the saffron party’s attempts to engineer defection for forming a government.
Talking to reporters after meeting the Congress MLAs, Yashwant Sinha said, “I read with deep distress this morning the news published in a leading newspaper in Madhya Pradesh with the headline – ‘BJP eyeing 28 tribal MLAs of Congress, cross voting preparation’.”
“I have also heard from credible sources that huge sums of money are being offered to non-BJP MLAs to vote for the party’s candidate in the presidential elections,” he alleged.
This clearly means that ‘Operation Kanwal’ is now being put into effect even in the election to the highest office of the Republic, Yashwant Sinha said, adding it also shows the BJP has become fearful of the outcome of a free and fair presidential election.
He urged the Election Commission and also the Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha, who is the returning officer for the presidential election, to probe the reported corruption practices of the ruling BJP.
“The right name for ‘Operation Kanwal’ is ‘Operation Mal’ (dirt), because it has become synonymous with dirty political corruption by the ruling BJP party. It has been used to create defections in opposition parties and even to topple state governments run by the opposition parties,” Sinha said.