[Mumbai] The political fallout from the India based ICP tehelka.com’s corruption expose continued today as Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes submitted his resignation.
Using hidden cameras, journalists from tehelka.com posing as representatives from a fictitious English arms manufacturer videotaped a wide range of officials from the Indian political and military establishments accepting bribes to promote products.
Also today, resignations from Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool colleague Ajit Panja were submitted.
Fernandes has denied all allegations of corruption and cited the need to uphold the morale of the Indian defense forces as the reason for his resignation..
All the resignations came after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee called on Indian President K R Narayanan in a 45-minute meeting in which it was claimed the two discussed the “national situation”. The 17-month-old National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
Tehelka.com is scrambling to capitalize on its exposure following the release of the story and excerpts from the videotape on its site.
When contacted, a consultant working with an online advertising server company confirmed that Tehelka.com is asking for a 75-100 percent premium on its advertisement rates.”
Last year, Tehelka.com carried out a similar sting on cricket match fixing that shook the game to its foundations. A federal police probe that followed Tehelka.com’s revelations resulted in former test cricketers Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma being banned from the game for life. Tehelka.com is barely a year old with a team operating out of small office.