No knowledge of vote buying: Manmohan Singh


Reuters

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Friday that he had no knowledge of vote buying to win a crucial confidence vote in his government in 2008, a day after the oppostion called for his resignation over the issue.


A file photo shows Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a news conference in Washington November November 25, 2009. India needs to deal with the malice of corruption and improve governance in Asia’s third-largest economy, Singh said on Friday.

The opposition forced parliament to adjourn on Thursday and demanded Singh resign over a WikiLeaks report that his ruling Congress party paid bribes to win a confidence vote in 2008, in a fresh blow to the scandal-tainted coalition.

“I am not at all involved in any of these transactions … I have no knowledge of any such purchases,” Singh told a conference in New Delhi, adding there were serious doubts about the veracity of the diplomatic cables written by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and released by WikiLeaks.

India needs to deal with the malice of corruption and improve governance in Asia’s third-largest economy, Singh said.

The WikiLeaks report adds to a long list of government scandals, led by charges the former telecoms minister took bribes to dole out lucrative phone licences at rock bottom prices. That cost the state coffers as much as $39 billion in lost revenue, the Comptroller and Auditor General has estimated.

(Reporting by C.J.Kuncheria; Editing by Alistair Scrutton)

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