Moitra has admitted that she shared her log-in credentials with Hiranandani, whom she has described as a close friend for a long time, but has ruled out any pecuniary motive and asserted that the questions were always hers.
New Delhi: Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha member Mahua Moitra, who is at the centre of a bribe-for-query row, appeared before the Ethics Committee of the lower house on Thursday. The Committee is probing BJP Lok Sabha member Nishikant Dubey’s bribe-for-query allegations against Moitra. Dubey has accused Moitra of asking questions, which were keyed in through her parliamentary account, at the behest of businessman Darshan Hiranandani in return for bribes and favours from the Dubai-based scion of a well-known business family.
For the unversed, Mahua Moitra was once criticised for her Louis Vuitton bag that was seen in Parliament. “Modiji sent me some of the proceeds after auctioning his Rs. 10 lakh suit. I bought a handbag and used the rest to pay lawyer fees,” Mahua Moitra replied at that time.
During last year’s monsoon session of parliament, opposition members were trying to corner the Modi government during a debate on rising prices. When Trinamool Congress MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar rose to speak, the Sansad TV camera focused on her. Seated next to her was her party colleague Mahua Moitra. Moitra perhaps realised that the live broadcast on the sensitive topic was also catching her super expensive Louis Vuitton handbag. The next second, she was seen shifting the bag to the floor, away from the camera. That clip went viral.
#WATCH | TMC MP Mahua Moitra arrives at the Parliament in Delhi.
She is appearing before the Parliament Ethics Committee in connection with the ‘cash for query’ charge against her. pic.twitter.com/Hl4ZqG3eEl
— ANI (@ANI) November 2, 2023
Moitra was summoned by the Ethics Committee to appear before it on October 31. However, the committee once again summoned her for questioning on November 2 after the Trinamool leader wrote to the Committee that she cannot appear on October 31 citing prior engagement.
Moitra on Wednesday had written to the Ethics Committee demanding to cross-examine complainant and Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai and Dubai-based businessman Darshan Hiranandani.
She has admitted that she shared her log-in credentials with Hiranandani, whom she has described as a close friend for a long time, but has ruled out any pecuniary motive and asserted that the questions were always hers. The Trinamool Congress MP has claimed that the Adani Group is behind the “bogus” charges due to her strident criticism of the business conglomerate.
A public spat sparked between Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai and TMC MP Mahua Moitra, with the former partners having a bitter battle over who gets the custody of their dog, a three-year-old Rottweiler, Henry. Henry is with Moitra at present.
The ongoing tussle between Moitra and Dehadrai over their pet dog took another turn last month when BJP MP Nishikant Dubey said he received a letter from Dehadrai, adding that the lawyer had shared “irrefutable” evidence that Moitra had taken bribes in the form of “cash” and “gifts” from business tycoon Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions in Parliament.
The ethics committee is probing BJP MP Nishikant Dubey’s allegations that Moitra accepted cash and favours for asking questions in Lok Sabha on Gautam Adani at the behest of businessman Hiranandani. On October 26, Dubey and advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai gave “oral evidence” to the panel against Moitra.