Trinamool Congress’s Mahua Moitra should not be allowed to continue as an MP and her membership should be terminated, the parliamentary Ethics Committee examining the cash-for-query allegations against her has recommended. Calling Mahua Moitra’s actions “highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal”, the committee said it calls for severe punishment. In the operative part of the 500-page report accessed by NDTV, the committee has also recommended that a “legal, intensive, institutional and time-bound investigation” be held into the entire matter.
The Committee has concluded that Mahua Moitra had shared user ID with “unauthorised persons”, took cash and amenities from businessman Darshan Hiranandani and it was “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.
The report will be submitted to the Lok Sabha Speaker during the winter session of parliament and action would be taken after a discussion. Ms Moitra is expected to appear before the committee at 4 pm tomorrow.
The MP had stormed out of the last meeting, held last week, objecting to their questions and in a letter to the Speaker, accused the committee of subjecting her to “proverbial vastraharan (stripping)”.
The Ethics panel chief — BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar — had focussed on Ms Moitra’s personal relationship with Darshan Hiranandani. There were questions too on Jai Anant Dehadrai, on whose complaint to the Central Bureau of Investigation the entire case rests.
The Committee has accused Ms Moitra of failing to cooperate. “Mahua Moitra did not cooperate with the committee and the investigation. The Opposition members also made allegations in anger and suddenly walked out of the meeting to avoid answering more questions,” Mr Sonkar had said.
Earlier today, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey – who had flagged the matter to the Lok Sabha Speaker — posted on X, formerly Twitter, that anti-corruption body Lokpal has ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the corruption allegations against Ms Moitra.
“On basis of my complaint, Lokpal has ordered a CBI probe into the Mahua Moitra’s corruption that compromises national security,” read a rough translation of the post by Mr Dubey.
The BJP MP had alleged that Ms Moitra accepted cash from businessman Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions in parliament on his behalf to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi and business rival Adani Group. He also claimed that Ms Moitra, by sharing her parliamentary login with the businessman, has compromised national security.
Ms Moitra had admitted to it, but claimed there is no regulation governing sharing of login and password. Ahead of her hearing with the Ethics Committee, she had written them a letter, questioning “Why these rules are not shared with MPs”.
In an explosive affidavit last month, Darshan Hiranandani admitted to the login sharing, but bypassed the cash for query issue, saying they shared a close friendship and he had given Ms Moitra gifts that she had demanded.
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