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'Got Darshan Hiranandani affidavit, will conduct probe': Ethics Committee on Mahua Moitra case
Mahua Moitra case
From L-R: Mahua Moitra (Facebook) & Darshan Hirannadani (X page)

'Got Darshan Hiranandani affidavit, will conduct probe': Ethics Committee on Mahua Moitra case

| @indiablooms | 20 Oct 2023, 10:52 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: The Lok Sabha ethics committee Friday said it has received the affidavit by businessman Darshan Hiranandani alleging that he bribed Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra to ask questions in the Parliament.

The committee said it will conduct a comprehensive probe into all the charges.

In his affidavit, Hiranandani claimed that Moitra had given him her Parliament login ID to frame questions against the Adani group.

Hiranandani claimed that Moitra felt it was the "only way" to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The claim is a huge setback for Moitra, who is currently battling BJP allegations that she had accepted cash and favours from the Hiranandani group chief to target its business rival Adani Group, and should be suspended from Parliament.

The allegation that she handed him her parliament login ID could constitute a breach of privilege if proven and that could bring down a suspension order against her.

Hiranandani, who is caught in the "cash-for-questions" controversy swirling around Moitra, said he was filing the affidavit since the matter involves him and has snowballed into a political controversy.

In the three-page affidavit, the businessman confessed to a few points that comprise the bulk of BJP allegations against Moitra.

Besides sharing her login ID, the affidavit mentioned Moitra accepting favours from Hiranandani. But it dodged the main charge against her -- that she asked over 50 parliamentary questions on behalf of the Hiranandani Group to get the better of its business rival, the Adani Group.

The affidavit indicates the case was rather the opposite.

Moitra thought the only way to attack PM Modi was by attacking Gautam Adani, and so she "expected support on these sections", the affidavit read.

For this, she shared her Parliament login ID so he could frame the questions, Hiranandani said.

He also claimed that Moitra received support from others in this effort, including journalists, opposition leaders and former Adani Group employees.

Hiranandani said Moitra was a dominating and ambitious person who also made a number of demands for "various favours" which he met to retain her support.

The demands made included gifting her expensive luxury items, "providing support for renovation of her officially allotted bungalow in Delhi, travel expenses, holidays etc," he wrote.

"I could ill afford to displease her," the affidavit read. "Many times I felt she was taking undue advantage of me and pressurizing me to do things I didn't want to, but I had no choice, because of aforementioned reasons," he said.

Moitra Tuesday sued BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai over "defamatory" allegations that she accepted "bribes" to pose questions in the Lok Sabha, reported India Today.

Dubey used Dehadrai's letter to assert that it contained compelling proof of monetary transactions between Moitra and businessman Darshan Hiranandani, likening it to the 2005 'Cash for Query' controversy.

The BJP leader has further called on Speaker Om Birla and Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to launch independent inquiries into the matter.

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