Mahua Moitra expelled from Lok Sabha over cash-for-query allegation
Mahua Moitra's five-year journey as a Lok Sabha member comes to an end as she stands expelled from the lower house in a cash-for-question case.
Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra was expelled from the Lok Saba on Friday after a debate on the cash-for-question allegations. As Mahua Moitra was not allowed to speak in the Lok Sabha during the debate despite the Trinamool's request to make her the speaker on behalf of the party during the debate. After the voting which was in favour of Mahua Moitra's expulsion, the Trinamool leader read out her statement outside the Lok Sabha which she came prepared with. Reiterating that it was the conduct of a kangaroo court, Mahua Moitra said there was no evidence of cash. Darshan Hiranandani was not heard by the ethics committee either, Mahua Moitra said. “There was no evidence of any cash, any gifts anywhere. The recommendation of expulsion was solely based on the complaint that I shared my login. But there is no rule whatsoever in this regard,” Mahua Moitra said.
"...This House accepts the conclusions of the Committee that MP Mahua Moitra's conduct was immoral and indecent as an MP. So, it is not appropriate for her to continue as an MP..." Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said.
The ethics committee report which recommended the expulsion of Mahua Moitra was tabled on Friday and within hours the West Bengal MP was expelled. Both the Congress and the Trinamool sought more time to go through the report.
What was the cash-for-question allegation against Mahua Moitra?
Mahua Moitra was alleged to have taken cash and gifts from industrialist Darshan Hiranandani in exchange for Parliament login using which Hiranandani posted questions against Gautam Adani and the Adani Group. The complaint was first brought by advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai. BJP MP Nishikant Dubey forwarded Jai Anant's complaint to the Lok Sabha Speaker. The issue was transferred to the ethics committee which after questioning Nishikant Dubey, Jai Anant Dehadrai and Mahua Moitra recommended Mahua Moitra's expulsion. The ethics committee report was taken up by the Lok Sabha on Friday and Mahua Moitra got expelled.
Oppositions rally behind Mahua Moitra
Mahua Moitra's expulsion became a rallying point for the opposition as Sonia Gandhi stood behind her when she read out her statement after Mahua Moitra was expelled. During the debate, Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said it was not humanely possible to read the lengthy report in only two hours.
'Injustice to Mahua': Mamata Banerjee
Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee said injustice has been done to Mahua. "I don't understand how only half an hour can be given to all parties to read a 495-page report and then debate. I congratulate the INDIA alliance, we all are united. The party is fully supporting Mahua's case. She is election by the people and represents women and the younger generation. How they betray democracy! They did not allow Mahua to take her own stand," West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said.
Mahua Moitra expulsion from Lok Sabha: Here is a timeline
October 15: BJP MP Nishikant Dubey complained to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla against Mahua Moitra. The allegations were she took cash and gifts from Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions against Adani in the Lok Sabha.
October 17: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla directed that the complaint be forwarded to the Ethics Committee.
October 19: Darshan Hiranandani submitted an affidavit that he used Moitra's Parliament login to put questions on the Parliament site
Last week of October: Mahua Moitra in interviews to the media admitted that she gave her Parliament login and password details to Hiranandani but it was to get help from his office to upload questions. The questions were hers and she never took cash in exchange for this, Moitra said.
November 2: Mahua Moitra appeared before the ethics committee.
Mahua Moitra walked out of the ethics panel meeting alleging that she was asked personal questions.
November 9: The ethics committee report recommending the suspension of Mahua Moitra was adopted.
December 8: The ethics committee report was tabled in the Lok Sabha for a debate. Mahua Moitra was expelled.