Calls for Indian PM's Resignation After WikiLeaks Cable Reveals Bribery

By Miriam Krule

WikiLeaks is still causing a stir in India. On Tuesday The Hindu reported that they had gained access to 5,100 leaked cables relating to India. After sifting through the selection they reported on the first sampling and made them available on their website. One cable left the Indian parliament in furor over the revelation that the governing Congress Party bribed lawmakers in order to ensure passage of a 2008 vote on a landmark nuclear deal between India and the U.S. The cable quotes a political aide to an influential Congress Party lawmaker boasting of everything from chests of money to jet airplanes as pay-offs.

This revelation comes at a tumultuous time for the Congress Party, as The New York Times reports:

The uproar comes as the Congress Party has been besieged for months over allegations of corruption. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, known for his integrity, has been hammered by opposition leaders for failing to prevent a telecom scandal that may have cost India's treasury as much as $40 billion. A parliamentary committee is now investigating the telecom scandal, and Mr. Singh has defended himself in remarks made to parliament.

The 2008 deal is considered one of Singh's main achievements as prime minister and is credited with improving India-U.S. relations. According to The Hindu, in addition to several scams that have surfaced over the past few months, this recent allegation has the entire Opposition demanding his resignation. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told Parliament that the cables are protected by diplomatic immunity and could not be confirmed or denied.

Read the full story at The New York Times and The Hindu.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/03/calls-for-indian-pms-resignation-after-wikileaks-cable-reveals-bribery/72630/