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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 17:04 GMT
Indian MPs suspended over scandal
India's Parliament House
Parliament has been rocked by a string of allegations
A parliamentary committee in India has recommended that four MPs implicated in a corruption scandal be suspended until 22 March for "improper conduct".

TV footage had shown the MPs apparently seeking a commission to approve public works projects in their constituencies. The committee stopped short of calling for the MPs to be expelled as "none were actually shown accepting money".

One of the MPs, Fhaggan Singh Kuleste of the opposition BJP, said he was the victim of a "political conspiracy".

Last year, 11 MPs were expelled from the parliament after they were secretly taped apparently accepting bribes.

Allegations

The parliamentary committee investigating the latest allegations scrutinised the activities of Mr Kuleste and three other MPs, Churchill Alemao of the Congress party, Paras Nath Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, and Ramswaroop Koli, also of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

It found that their conduct was "not above board".

As well as seeking their suspension, the committee also recommended guidelines to regulate sting operations carried out by the media, its chairman, V Kishore Chandra S Dev, said.

Mr Kuleste said the committee had made no allegations against him, but he added that he would accept the decision of the house if it voted to suspend him.

India's Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme was launched in October 1994 to enable MPs to allocate constituency funds for creating community assets in their constituencies.

There have been allegations of corruption involving the sanctioning of the funds.

'Framed'

Last December, 10 MPs were thrown out of the lower house and one from the upper house after they were secretly taped apparently accepting bribes.

Some of the MPs recorded in the videotape said they had been framed.

It was the first time since 1951 that any MP has been expelled for corruption and the biggest single expulsion ever.

The MPs were all secretly videotaped by a news website and a TV news channel allegedly accepting money in return for asking questions in parliament.





SEE ALSO:
India MPs suspended for 'bribes'
12 Dec 05 |  South Asia
Politician denies bribing witness
22 Dec 04 |  South Asia
Minister quits after bribe claims
17 Nov 03 |  South Asia
Party boss quits after web sting
13 Mar 01 |  South Asia


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