• Wednesday, June 19, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Cash-for-query row: Ethics panel wants India opposition MP Mahua Moitra expelled from parliament

The report will be submitted to the speaker of the Lok Sabha during the winter session of the parliament and action would be taken after a discussion.

Indian parliamentarian Mahua Moitra (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

DAYS after India’s opposition parliamentarian Mahua Moitra stormed out of a meeting with the parliamentary ethics committee examining cash-for-query allegations that have been brought against her by a counterpart from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of prime minister Narendra Modi, the body has recommended that the former’s membership of the parliament should be terminated.

The committee also called Moitra’s actions “highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal” and sought severe punishment for her.

Moitra, 49, is a member of the Trinamool Congress and a fierce critic of Modi. She represents the Krishnagar constituency of the eastern state of West Bengal in the Lok Sabha or Lower House of the parliament.

According to India’s NDTV, the committee also recommended in the operative part of the 500-page report by the committee that a “legal, intensive, institutional and time-bound investigation” be held into the issue.

The committee, which Moitra accused of asking personal questions during their meeting last week, said the latter had shared her user ID with “unauthorised persons”, took cash and amenities from a businessman named Darshan Hiranandani. It called it a “serious misdemeanour” on her part which calls for “serious punishment”.

“The money trail of cash transaction between Smt Mahua Moitra and Shri Darshan Hiranandani as a part of a ‘quid pro quo’ should be investigated by the government of India in a legal, institutional and time-bound manner,” the report read, according to the NDTV report.

The report will be submitted to the speaker of the Lok Sabha during the winter session of the parliament and action would be taken after a discussion. The Trinamool MP is expected to appear before the committee at 4 pm local time on Thursday (9).

Moitra on Wednesday reacted to the development on X by mocking NDTV, which is now controlled by Adani, as Adani TV, over the report, saying, “Glad to see Adani TV has a copy of Unethical Standing Committee Report BEFORE it is placed before Committee tomorrow. Just like Lok Pal referrals announced via the hired help Modi Adani Bhai Bhai Sabh Institutions Bye Bye”

CBI probe against Moitra?

Earlier on Wednesday, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who had brought the allegations against Moitra, said that India’s anti-corruption body Lokpal has sought a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Moitra.

“Lokpal has today, on the basis of my complaint, ordered a CBI inquiry against accused Mahua Moitra for allegedly indulging in corruption that compromised national security,” Dubey said on social media platform X in Hindi.

He had alleged that Moitra had accepted cash from Hiranandani to ask questions in the parliament on his behalf to target Modi and Adani, his business rival.

Moitra had admitted to it, but claimed there is no regulation governing sharing of login and password.

She reacted to the Lokpal’s reported order on X, saying, “Lok Pal Abhi Zinda Hain” (the Lokpal is still alive?)

She also said the central investigating agency should first lodge cases against the alleged irregularities involving the Adani Group and then they were welcome to go to her place and count her shoes.

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