Cash-for-query row: Mahua Moitra to seem earlier than Ethics Committee on Oct 31

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By Dainik Khabre

Cash-for-query row: Mahua Moitra to seem earlier than Ethics Committee on Oct 31

Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra was on Thursday requested to seem earlier than the Ethics Committee of the Lok Sabha on October 31 in reference to the cash-for-query allegations towards her. Chairman of the Parliament Ethics Committee Vinod Kumar Sonkar stated the committee will search help from the Ministries of Home Affairs and IT in probing the allegations towards Moitra.

The growth got here after the first meeting of the Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha was held on Thursday  to deal with the “Cash for Query” allegations lodged towards the TMC MP. 

Earlier within the day, sources instructed information company ANI that the Parliament Ethics Committee agreed “that the charges against TMC MP Mahua Moitra are very critical and the committee will think about them severely.”

What happened today?

BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and Advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai appeared before the Committee on Thursday to submit oral evidence in regard to the complaint filed by Dubey against Moitra. The TMC MP was also asked to appear before the panel on October 31.

When asked about Mahua’s allegations that Dubey submitted a fake degree in his election nomination papers, the BJP MP was quoted by ANI as saying that there is only one question “Mahua chor hai ki nahi” (Is Mahua a thief or not?)”.

Dubey later instructed reporters that he would reply to no matter questions the committee would ask him. 

“Documents do not lie,” he added when it was pointed out that Moitra had refuted all the allegations levelled against her.

The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee is headed by the BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar and includes Vishnu Datt Sharma, Sumedhanand Saraswati, Aparajita Sarangi, Rajdeep Roy, Sunita Duggal, and Subhash Bhamre of the BJP; Ve Vaithilingam, N Uttam Kumar Reddy, and Preneet Kaur of the Congress; Balashowry Vallabbhaneni (YSRCP); Hemant Godse (Shiv Sena); Giridhari Yadav (JD-U); P R Natarajan (CPI-M); and Kunwar Danish Ali (BSP).

Allegations and counter-allegations

Moitra was accused of being involved in the ‘Cash for Query’ scandal in Parliament last week with BJP MP Nishikant Dubey approaching the Ethics Committee. He alleged that the TMC leader accepted bribes and favours in return for asking questions in the Lok Sabha at the behest of businessman Darshan Hiranandani.

The questions reportedly targeted the Adani Group and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Dubey further claimed that he had proof of the charges, given to him by Advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai. He even claimed that the TMC MP’s parliamentary login credentials were accessed in Dubai and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) provided this information to the probe agencies.

The BJP MP recently wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in this regard. In his letter titled “Re-emergence of nasty ‘Cash for Query’ in Parliament,” Dubey alleged “‘critical Breach of Privilege’, ‘Contempt of the House’ and a ‘Criminal Offence’ below Section 120A of IPC” by the Trinamool Congress MP, news agency ANI reported.

Moitra however has dismissed the charges as a “jilted ex’s lies” — a reference to Dehadrai. She accused the Adani Group of being behind them in order to target her as she has been relentless in raising questions on the conglomerate’s practices and transactions, PTI reported.

“Who is mendacity? 2 days in the past Fake Degree Wala stated NIC already given particulars together with “Dubai” logins to the probe company. Now Ashwini Vaishnaw says NIC will give data in future IF requested by LS or Ethics Comm. BJP is welcome to do a success job on me however Adani Godda maybe not the perfect strategists!” she tweeted on Tuesday.

In response to her, Dubey said that the question is not about Adani, Degree or theft, but about corruption by misleading the country.

Meanwhile, Hiranandani, the CEO of the eponymous real estate-to-energy group who allegedly paid her to raise questions in Parliament, has also reacted to the controversy. In a signed affidavit, he said the TMC leader targeted Gautam Adani to “malign and embarrass” Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose impeccable reputation gave the opposition no opportunity to attack him.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 26 Oct 2023, 06:01 PM IST

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