"The Government of India
cannot confirm the veracity, contents or even the existence of such
communications. I may point out that many of the persons referred to in
those reports have stoutly denied the veracity of the contents.
"An issue was raised that the offence of bribery was committed in India.
Government rejects that allegation absolutely and firmly. Let it be
remembered that in July 2008, in the 14th LoK Sabha, government moved a
motion of confidence.
"In an open vote that was taken on the
floor of the house, government won the confidence of the Lok Sabha by
275 votes for and 256 votes against. The allegations of bribery were
investigated by a committee constituted by the 14th Lok Sabha.
"The committee had concluded there was insufficient evidence to draw any conclusion of bribery.
"I am disappointed that members of the Opposition have forgotten what
happened thereafter. Upon the conclusion of the term of the 14th Lok
Sabha, there was a general election. In that general election, the
Opposition parties repeated their allegations of bribery in the trust
"How did the people respond to those allegations? The
principal Opposition party which had 138 seats in the 14th Lok Sabha was
reduced to 116 seats in the 15th Lok Sabha. The left parties found that
their tally was reduced from 59 to 24.
"It is the Congress Party alone which increased its tally from 145 to 206, an increase of 61 seats.
"It is unfortunate that the Opposition continues to raise old charges
that have been debated, discussed and rejected by the people of India.
It is most surprising that speculative, unverified and un-verifiable
communications should be given dignity and seized upon by the Opposition
parties to revive old charges that have been soundly rejected.
"I wish to make it clear that no one from the Congress Party or the
Government indulged in any unlawful act during the trust vote during
July, 2008. The UPA I Government always enjoyed the confidence of the
people and the 14th Lok Sabha.
"The UPA-II government has been formed in the 15th Lok Sabha and enjoys the confidence of this house and the people of India."