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Amid Mamata's silence, Abhishek Banerjee backs Mahua Moitra on 'cash for query' allegations
Cash For Query
Abhishek Banerjee (L) and Mahua Moitra (R) | Photo courtesy: IBNS File/Mahua Moitra Facebook

Amid Mamata's silence, Abhishek Banerjee backs Mahua Moitra on 'cash for query' allegations

| @indiablooms | 09 Nov 2023, 03:06 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: Trinamool Congress (TMC) national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee has backed Mahua Moitra in a first public response from the party's top brass on the "cash for query" allegations brought against the firebrand Lok Sabha MP.

Abhishek, who is the second most important member of the party, implied Moitra was a victim of vendetta politics by the Centre's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) amid West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee's silence on the issue.

Abhishek said, "I think the step which has been taken by the central government and what I read from the portion of the Ethics Committee's report, its chairman has asked for an investigation if something wrong is there.

"If nothing is there against Mahua Moitra and it is subjected to investigation, then how expulsion has been recommended? This is my only question."

"Moreover, I feel Mahua Moitra is competent enough to fight her battle on her own. I have also been tagged and summoned in multiple cases for four years. This is their standard practice," he added.

Abhishek Banerjee speaks to reporters outside ED office in Kolkata | Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from Facebook video of Abhishek Banerjee Abhishek Banerjee speaks to reporters outside ED office in Kolkata | Photo courtesy: Screenshot grab from Facebook video of Abhishek Banerjee

Abhishek made the remark while speaking to the reporters outside the Enforcement Directorate's office where he was summoned by the probe agency in connection with the teachers' recruitment scam case.

Though Mamata often accused the BJP of using central probe agencies against her ministers and party leaders for political vendetta, the Chief Minister is yet to comment on Moitra's case.

When asked about her party's stance, Moitra told Mojo that her party had bigger issues like the Centre's withholding of  MGNREGA funds to raise and she was enough to fight her case.

"This entire thing is a joke... Are we going to comment on that or.. this is a diversionary, deflecting tactic of the BJP," said Moitra in an interview with Mojo.

Brief about the case

The controversy was triggered after BJP MP Nishikant Dubey on October 15 accused Moitra, who is known for her fiery speeches in Parliament, of asking questions on businessman Gautam Adani in Parliament in exchange for money.

Moitra, whose choice of words had triggered rows both inside and outside Parliament in the past, has been accused of accepting bribes from businessman Darshan Hiranandani and sharing her Parliament login details.

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

BJP MP Nishikant Dubey attacks Mohua Moitra over cash for question row. Photo courtesy: FBBJP MP Nishikant Dubey attacks Mohua Moitra over cash for question row. Photo courtesy: FB

In several interviews, Moitra claimed she received a few gifts from Darshan but no money and shared the login details to put her questions on the portal only only after receiving the OTP on her phone.

The BJP MP had appealed to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to form an inquiry committee to probe into the allegations brought against the first-term parliamentarian from West Bengal's Krishnanagar constituency.

Moitra had walked out of the Ethics Committee hearing allegeding she was asked "personal" and "filthy" questions which she felt have no connection with the case.

The Parliamentary Ethics Committee on Wednesday recommended the termination of Moitra's Lok Sabha membership calling her actions "highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal".

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