Friday, March 1, 2024

Mahua Moitra challenges expulsion from Lok Sabha in Supreme Court

Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra filed a petition with the Supreme Court to challenge her contentious expulsion from the Lok Sabha last week in connection with the ‘cash for query’ corruption case.

Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha on Friday after Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey and advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai accused her of taking bribes from businessman Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions in Parliament. The ethics panel adopted its report recommending Moitra’s expulsion from the Lok Sabha at a meeting on 9 November. The committee had called Moitra’s actions “highly objectionable, unethical, heinous, and criminal.”

A vocal critic of the Narendra Modi administration, Mahua Moitra denied the bribery charges but admitted to sharing the log-in details. She argued that sharing these details is common practice among MPs.

On Friday, the Speaker did not allow Moitra to speak inside Parliament, even as the Opposition MPs demanded that she be given a chance.

Moitra spoke outside the Lok Sabha and alleged that the Ethics Committee found her guilty of breaching a code that does not exist. She said that the committee punished her for a routine practice, accepted, and encouraged in the House.

Moitra accused the ethics panel outside Parliament of “breaking every rule” and predicting CBI raids shortly.

The CBI has opened an inquiry into the allegations against Ms Moitra.

Mahua Moitra said: “If this Modi government thought that by shutting me up they could do away with the Adani issue, let me tell you this that this kangaroo court has only shown to all of India that the haste and the abuse of due process you have used demonstrates how important Adani is to you. And to what length you will go to harass a single woman MP into shutting her into submission…”

“The Ethics Committee has no power to expel….This is the beginning of your(BJP) end. Ethics panel punishing me for practice that is routine, accepted and encouraged in Lok Sabha. In essence I have been found guilty of breaching code of ethics that does not exist,” said Moitra after her expulsion as TMC MP.

“… The Lok Sabha has presided over the most tenacious witch-hunt of one of the 78 MPs, a first-timer, a single woman, with no political lineage… This Lok Sabha has also seen the weaponisation of a parliamentary committee,” Moitra told reporters.

“National security with a login portal? Mr Adani is buying all our ports, all our airports… His shareholders are foreign investors and the ministry of home affairs is giving them clearance to buy all our infrastructure,” she said, after she was ousted from the Parliament.

“Ramesh Biduri stands up in Parliament and makes objectionable remarks against Danish Ali, one of the few Muslim MPs…. the BJP has sent 303 MPs but hasn’t sent one Muslim MP to Parliament. No action has been taken against Biduri for abusing Ali…You hate minorities, you hate women, you hate nari shakti,” she said.

“I am 49 years old, I will fight you for the next 30 years, inside parliament, outside parliament, in the gutter, on the street,” she added.


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