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Cash for query: Mahua Moitra to be questioned by Ethics Committee tomo on reports from 3 ministries Mahua Moitra
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Mahua Moitra

Cash for query: Mahua Moitra to be questioned by Ethics Committee tomo on reports from 3 ministries

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 01 Nov 2023, 11:52 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Trinamool Congress MP Mohua Moitra will be questioned on Tuesday by the Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha in the cash for query case.

Along with other documents and evidence before the committee, Moitra will also be questioned based on reports received by the committee from three Union ministries, media reports said.

The Committee is looking into reports from the Home, Information Technology and External Affairs ministries.

The panel had sought information from the three ministries after a meeting was held on October 26.

Among other things, it had asked whether the IP addresses of her log-ins and her locations were the same.

The Ethics Committee hearing has been strengthened by the explosive affidavit of businessman Darshan Hiranandani, who while remaining silent on the cash-for-query issue, has admitted to posting questions on Mahua Moitra's parliamentary login.

If proven, this would comprise Breach of Parliamentary Privilege and enough to get her expelled from the House.

His gifts to Moitra, he wrote in the affidavit, were by way of meeting the demands of the MP, who wanted to politically target Prime Minister Narendra Modi through the Adani Group.

Moitra has said she should be allowed to cross-examine the businessman -- a demand she reiterated in her letter to the Ethics Committee today.

In the letter, which she posted on X, formerly Twitter, she remarked that a parliamentary ethics committee may not be the "appropriate forum to examine allegations of alleged criminality," because the committee lacks the power to examine such allegations.

This, she said, was deliberately kept so by "our nation's founders" to prevent misuse of committees by the government that enjoys a brute majority in parliament.

The controversy surrounding Moitra kickstarted after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey on October 15 accused the TMC leader, who is known for her fiery speeches in Parliament, of asking questions on businessman Gautam Adani in Parliament in exchange for money.

Dubey, a three-term MP from Jharkhand's Godda constituency, cited a letter from Moitra's estranged partner Jai Anant Dehadrai, a Supreme Court lawyer, in claiming that Moitra received bribes.

Amid the row, Moitra, an MP from West Bengal's Krishnanagar constituency, on Friday admitted she gave her Parliament login details to Hiranandani but refuted the bribery allegations.

She told India Today, "Someone in Darshan Hiranandani's office typed the question which I gave on the Parliament website. After putting the question, they would call me to inform and I would read all the questions in one go as I am always busy in my constituency.

"After putting the question, an OTP (one-time password) comes on my mobile phone. I would give that OTP and only then is the question submitted. So, the idea that Darshan would log in to my ID and put in questions of his own is ludicrous."

Speaking to India Today, Moitra said she received gifts in the form of "one scarf, a lipstick and eyeshadow" from Darshan, who was her "close personal friend".

"The only things I have received from Darshan as a close personal friend was one scarf for my birthday present three or four years ago, then he called from the Dubai airport asking if I wanted something.

"There is a brand called Bobbi Brown and he bought me a lipstick from the brand, and eye shadow," Moitra told the English news channel.

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