Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra, aged 49, has been expelled from the Lok Sabha following an Ethics Committee report into the ‘cash for query’ charges against her. The allegations against Ms Moitra involved taking bribes, including ₹2 crore in cash and “luxury gift items,” from businessman Darshan Hiranandani in exchange for asking critical questions about the government in Parliament. Additionally, she was accused of relinquishing log-in credentials to her personal and confidential account on the parliamentary website, allowing Mr. Hiranandani to post questions directly.
The expulsion decision was made after a tempestuous discussion and voice vote, during which Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla stated, “This House accepts the conclusions of the Committee – that MP Mahua Moitra’s conduct was immoral and indecent. So, it is not appropriate for her to continue as an MP.” Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is also Ms Moitra’s party leader, condemned the expulsion as “unacceptable,” attributing it to the “vendetta politics of the BJP killing democracy.”
It’s essential to note that the Ethics Committee’s report noted that the allegations of accepting illegal gratification were clearly established and undeniable. This led to the recommendation for a legal institutional inquiry by the Government due to the unethical, heinous, and criminal conduct of Ms Moitra. Furthermore, the CBI has opened an inquiry into the allegations against her.
Despite denying the bribery charges but admitting to sharing the log-in details, Ms Moitra remains resolute, with Ms Banerjee expressing confidence in her winning the battle, asserting that the people will give justice and the BJP will be defeated in the next election.
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