Sitaram Yechury
Sitaram Yechurywikimedia commons

After UPA's resounding victory at the Rajya Sabhi, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury accused it of using unfair means to secure majority votes against the Opposition's motion that chorused protest at allowing FDI into the multi-brand retail sector.

Speaking to IBN Live's Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate, Yechury, a senior member of the left-wing political party, said the ruling UPA may have resorted to 'bribery' to win votes in favour of FDI.

"I don't know whether it's a bribe, but something extra has happened. Either a threat, or intimidation, or bribe, or a promise of doing something," said Yechury when asked to comment on UPA's role in influencing the vote.

Yechury's colleague Gurudas Dasgupta, an MP at Lok Sabha, had recently commented that the "government put together a majority on the basis of material allurements," as cited by Thapar.

Yechury supported the claim on the basis of his experience, citing an incident in 1993 when former Prime Minsiter Narasimha Rao was alleged to bribed JMM members to vote for him in the no-confidence motion, which he won in the Lower House despite having insufficient numbers.

He also referred to another cash-for-vote scandal of 2008, where the Manmohan Singh-led government was accused of bribing its way to gain confidence votes in the Indo-US nuclear deal.

When asked to confirm his acknowledgement of the recent voting on FDI to be a case of bribe, Yechury said, "I am not ruling out anything. But there is definitely something, to use your words, "hanky panky".