Cash-for-query row: BJP MP shares Lok Sabha rules; says Mahua Moitra ‘not been briefed properly’
BJP MP Nishikant Dubey reminded the TMC MP how breaching the confidentiality of questions and answers could lead to ramifications across sectors.
BJP MP Nishikant Dubey on Thursday launched a fresh attack on Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra by sharing a snippet from a government bulletin on parliamentary functions that states replies to questions asked by parliamentarians must remain confidential till the response is actually made in the House, or the Question Hour period is over for the respective day.
Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Dubey reminded Moitra how breaching the confidentiality of questions and answers could lead to ramifications across sectors including fluctuations in the stock markets, as well as impacting on national security and foreign relations of the country.
The TMC MP is facing allegations of allowing businessman Darshan Hiranandani to post Parliament questions directly to the dedicated online portal in exchange for money and gifts. The issue was first raised by Dubey and he filed a complaint demanding Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to launch a probe into it. This prompted an inquiry by the Lok Sabha ethics committee which has recently recommended Moitra's expulsion as MP.
Amid the probe, Hiranandani agreed to have used Moitra's login details and called it a ‘crazy error of judgement and deeply regrettable’. Meanwhile, the MP from Krishnanagar constituency claimed there is no regulation regarding the sharing of login credentials.
In the snapshots shared by Dubey, it is noted that the login details are for access to the member's portal and therefore are for the exclusive use of members only. “Members are, therefore, requested to maintain confidentiality of the replies and not to share the contents with others until the Question Hour is over,” it added.
Calling it an example of ‘chori aur seenazori’ (being defensive after wrongdoing), the BJP MP took a swipe at Moitra and said, "The accused MP has probably not been briefed properly by a PA (personal assistant) like Hiranandani."
Also read: Mahua Moitra says parliamentary panel ‘forcing me to appear’ in cash-for-query case; wants to cross-examine businessman
In the wake of the controversy, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has changed the protocols to access the online portal to post Parliament questions. According to new guidelines, the option to post questions and other notices by PAs has been blocked on their accounts. As opposed to earlier provision, they can now only save notices as drafts and the lawmakers have to submit/file them from their accounts.
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