NEW DELHI: Mahua Moitra, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP representing West Bengal, faced expulsion from the Lok Sabha amidst allegations tied to the cash-for-query scandal. The Ethics Committee's recommendation in the 'cash-for-query' case led to her removal, sealed by a voice vote from the Speaker.
On Friday, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla barred Moitra from addressing the House regarding the Ethics Panel's findings against her. Despite opposition leaders' demands to grant Moitra a chance to defend herself, Birla upheld the decision, citing her prior opportunity to speak at the panel meeting.
Following her expulsion, Moitra, a prominent figure within the Trinamool, denounced the decision as unjust. She accused the Committee of disregarding protocols and viewed it as an attempt to suppress the Opposition's voice.
Moitra's immediate response after her ousting centered on the notion that this was an endeavor to stifle dissent within the Opposition ranks. She mentioned, "This is an attempt to bulldoze the Opposition. The Committee broke all the rules."
In her continued address, Moitra highlighted the Modi government's apparent agenda, stating, "If the Modi government believed silencing me would resolve the Adani issue, they've only showcased how pivotal Adani is to them. The rushed process and manipulation of due process demonstrate the lengths they'll go to harass a lone female MP into submission."
The 'cash-for-query' controversy erupted when BJP's Nishikant Dubey alleged Moitra's acceptance of bribes to pose queries in Parliament, linking her to Businessman Darshan Hiranandani. Dubey accused Moitra of using her parliamentary access to target the Adani Group and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in exchange for payments. Moitra vehemently denied these allegations, countering with claims that the PMO coerced Hiranandani into signing a fabricated affidavit under duress.
Moitra said, the PMO pressured the businessman, threatening his family's businesses if he didn't comply. She argued that the affidavit, supposedly signed by Hiranandani, was concocted by the PMO.