In a recent turn of events, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra is currently under investigation by the parliamentary ethics committee regarding an alleged cash-for-query case.
While she has vehemently denied the allegations, she has admitted to sharing her parliamentary login credentials with businessman Darshan Hiranandani.
Allegations and Investigation
According to sources, the parliamentary ethics committee received reports from three Union ministries – Home, Information Technology, and External Affairs – along with other documents and evidence to investigate the allegations against Mahua Moitra.
During a meeting on October 26, the committee sought information from these ministries, specifically pertaining to the IP addresses of Moitra’s logins and whether her locations matched.
The controversy gained traction after businessman Darshan Hiranandani submitted an explosive affidavit. While he remained silent on the bribery allegations, he did admit to posting questions on Moitra’s parliamentary login.
If proven true, this would constitute a breach of parliamentary privilege, which could lead to her expulsion from the house.
In response to the ethics committee’s inquiry, Mahua Moitra expressed skepticism about the committee’s ability to examine allegations of alleged criminality.
She stated that the committee may not be the appropriate forum for such matters, as it lacks the power to delve into criminal allegations. Moitra further requested the opportunity to cross-examine Darshan Hiranandani.
BJP’s Complaint and Accusations
The Ethics Committee hearing stems from a complaint lodged by BJP’s Nishikant Dubey, who accused Mahua Moitra of accepting cash from Hiranandani in exchange for asking questions in parliament.
Dubey alleged that these questions were directed at targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and business rival Adani Group. He urged the Speaker, Om Birla, to suspend Moitra from parliament immediately.
In his affidavit, Darshan Hiranandani claimed that he provided the gifts that Moitra demanded to maintain a favorable relationship with her and expand his business in Opposition-ruled states.
According to Hiranandani, Moitra aimed to politically target Prime Minister Modi through the Adani Group.
Moitra, on the other hand, accused the Prime Minister’s Office of pressuring Hiranandani to sign a “white paper” by leveraging their influence.
Ethical Committee Proceedings
Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai, whose complaint to the Central Bureau of Investigation sparked the entire case, was cross-examined by the Ethics Committee on October 26.
The committee also heard Nishikant Dubey’s testimony and is expected to submit their report to the Speaker in a timely manner.
The ongoing investigation into the cash-for-query case involving Mahua Moitra has thrust her into the spotlight. As the parliamentary ethics committee scrutinizes the evidence and hears testimonies, the truth behind these allegations will hopefully be unmasked.
It is essential for the committee to conduct a fair and thorough investigation to maintain the integrity of the parliamentary system.
Only time will tell how this controversy unfolds and what repercussions it may have for Mahua Moitra’s political career.