Mahua Moitra appears before Lok Sabha Ethics Panel in Cash for query row

Read Time: 06 minutes


BJP MP Nishikant Dubey has claimed that out of the 61 questions Moitra had posed in the Lok Sabha up to that point, 50 were centered on the Adani Group. Moitra has frequently accused this business conglomerate of malpractices, especially after it was the subject of a critical report by the short-seller Hindenburg Research

In the ongoing investigation into allegations of cash-for-query, Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra, a member of the Lok Sabha, appeared before the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee today.

While leaving the meeting, Moitra said that the panel asked “filthy questions”.

Janata Dal (United) MP Giridhari Yadav, who was also present, said, “They asked personal questions to the Mahua Moitra. They do not have the right to ask personal questions, so we walked out.”

Congress MP Uttam Kumar Reddy said, “The whole line of questions, it seems that he’s (Parliament Ethics Committee Chairman) acting on somebody’s behest. It is very, very bad. For two days, we have been asking him some things...They are asking her (Mahua Moitra) Where are you traveling? Where are you meeting? Can you give us your phone records?... There is no evidence of any cash transfer…”

The committee had set the date for her appearance as November 2, 2023, with no possibility of further extension.

BJP MP Nishikant Dubey has accused Moitra of accepting money and gifts from businessman Darshan Hiranandani in exchange for posing questions in Parliament. The accusations were brought to the committee's attention through an official complaint filed by Dubey with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, supported by purported 'evidence' provided by Moitra's estranged friend, Jai Anant Dehadrai.

On October 27, both Nishikant Dubey and Jai Anant Dehadrai appeared before the panel to provide their statements and testimonies.

In response to the committee's summons, Moitra conveyed her unavailability for the October 31, 2023, meeting, citing prior commitments and engagements. In a written response, she explained, "I represent the state of West Bengal, where Durga Puja stands as the most significant festival. I am already committed to participating in numerous pre-scheduled Vijaya Dashami Sammelans and meetings, both government and political, in my constituency from October 30 to November 4, 2023. Consequently, I will be unable to be present in Delhi on October 31, 2023."

Meanwhile, TMC MP Mahua Moitra has filed a defamation suit before the Delhi High Court seeking directions to restrain BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, Advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai, and several social media platforms and media houses from posting, circulating, or publishing any fake and defamatory content against her. Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan withdrew to appear for Moitra after Dehadrai informed the court that he was contacted by him to withdraw the complaint against the TMC MP.

In her plea, Moitra has sought an order directing BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and Jai Anant Dehadrai to publish a retraction and an apology to the plaintiff in three English newspapers, three Hindi newspapers, and three Bengali newspapers for the false and defamatory statements and allegations” made by them against her.

Click here to read more about the Bribe for Query Scam