Panel says Moitra used 'unparliamentary' words; MPs claim ‘unethical’ queries | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Ethics panel chief says Mahua Moitra used 'unparliamentary' words; Opposition MPs claim ‘unethical’ queries

Nov 02, 2023 04:58 PM IST

Vinod Sonkar's remark comes minutes after Opposition MPs, including BSP's Danish Ali, walked out of the panel's meeting with Mahua Moitra.

New Delhi: BJP MP Vinod Sonkar, the chairperson of the Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha, on Thursday claimed TMC MP Mahua Moitra used “unparliamentary” words for him and the panel before storming out of its meeting, which was called to record her oral evidence in the cash-for-query scandal. He made the remark minutes after Opposition MPs, including BSP's Danish Ali, walked out of the panel's meeting with Moitra, claiming it asked “unethical questions” from her.

TMC MP Mahua Moitra walks out of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee meeting at Parliament House complex in New Delhi. (PTI)
TMC MP Mahua Moitra walks out of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee meeting at Parliament House complex in New Delhi. (PTI)

"The committee's motive was to probe into the allegations of unethical conduct by Mahua Moitra. Instead of cooperating, Mahua Moitra, in a fit of anger, used bad words against the panel and its chairperson. The Opposition MPs, including Danish Ali, Girdhari Yadav etc, unethically and in great anger, levelled some allegations against the committee... They walked out of the panel's meeting to escape answering questions on Darshan Hiranandani's allegations," Vinod Sonkar told reporters in Hindi.

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BJP MP and the panel's member, Aparajita Sarangi, said the proceedings of the committee were confidential. She condemned Moitra's alleged bad behaviour.

“The proceedings of the Parliamentary Standing Committee are confidential by nature. So the very thing that she (TMC MP Mahua Moitra) did was wrong. They all came out and they all said things about the committee, about what transpired within the committee; it was wrong. She should not have done that. These things are very confidential,” the MP said.

"The conduct of Mahua Moitra was condemnable. She used unparliamentary words for our chairman and all the members of the committee. So, the chairperson of the Committee was asking questions regarding the contents of the affidavit by Hiranandani and she did not want to answer them. And then they created a ruckus," she added.

Earlier, Opposition members of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee walked out of the meeting. They accused the panel's chairperson of asking Mahua Moitra “unethical questions”.

Also read: Panel tells Mahua Moitra, ‘Witness, not MP’; she calls out Jai Anant Dehadrai's 'personal reasons'

“We found the ethics committee chairperson's questions to Moitra undignified and unethical,” Congress MP and panel member, N Uttam Kumar Reddy, told reporters.

"It seems that he's (Parliament Ethics Committee Chairman) acting at the behest of someone else. It is very, very bad. For two days we have been asking him some things...They are asking her (Mahua Moitra) where are you travelling? Where are you meeting? Can you give us your phone records?... There is no evidence of any cash transfer," he added.

Janata Dal (United) MP Giridhari Yadav said," They asked personal questions to the woman (TMC MP Mahua Moitra). They do not have the right to ask personal questions, so we walked out."

Meanwhile, Nishikant Dubey said the Opposition wasn't able to digest the fact that a person from a Scheduled Caste had become the chairperson of the panel.

"She (Mahua Moitra) tried to present a misleading narrative to the public...They are unable to digest that a person from Scheduled Caste, Vinod Sonkar, has become the Chairman of the Ethics Committee and they are making unnecessary statements against him," he said.

Moitra on Thursday appeared before the panel and said she has broken no parliamentary rules by sharing her login credentials with Darshan Hiranandani. She said the cash-for-query charge was levelled by advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai because she broke her personal relations with him.

She is accused of accepting expensive gifts from businessman Darshan Hiranandani in return for allowing him to ask questions through her parliamentary account.

Citing Dehadrai's 'evidence', Dubey had filed a complaint against her with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who referred the matter to the committee.

In a recent interview, she admitted to having shared her credentials with the businessman. She, however, said she had asked him to have his office staff type out the queries for her. She also claimed that since she received OTPs before questions were asked, no query was posted by the businessman himself.

With inputs from ANI, PTI

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