Lok Sabha expels Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, holds her guilty of sharing her credentials with others, accepting gifts

08 December,2023 03:30 PM IST |  New Delhi  |  mid-day online correspondent

The Lok Sabha on Friday expelled Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra after holding her guilty of sharing her credentials with others and accepting gifts from a businessman to extend favours

Mahua Moitra. File Photo/PTI

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The Lok Sabha voted to expel Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Mahua Moitra following allegations of unethical conduct, including sharing credentials and accepting gifts from a businessman to influence decisions.

The Ethics Committee of the Lok Sabha had recommended Moitra's expulsion, specifically citing a "cash-for-query" scandal.

The parliamentary proceedings unfolded with a heated debate, during which Moitra was notably denied the opportunity to speak. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, leading the charge, moved a motion for Moitra's expulsion, emphasizing the need to address the issue of "unethical conduct."

The motion garnered approval through a voice vote, prompting opposition members to walk out in protest as the voting process commenced.

Earlier, the Ethics Committee had presented a comprehensive 495-page report to the House, recommending Moitra's expulsion. The report was discussed in the Lok Sabha, with opposition members seeking additional time to scrutinize the extensive document. However, the Speaker, Om Birla, stressed the importance of upholding the dignity of the House and initiated the debate on the report.

Despite calls from Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for a three to four-day delay to allow members to thoroughly review the report's contents, the Speaker proceeded with the discussion. In a letter to Speaker Birla, Chowdhury argued that the expulsion of a member is a "serious punishment with wide ramifications" and urged sufficient time for members to prepare for the crucial debate.

In his letter, Chowdhury said, "It is understood that the Ethics Committee Report runs into over 104 pages, with a number of annexures and other documents attached. You will appreciate Sir, members to effectively take part in the discussion on the report, need adequate time to go through the contents of the report.

"Considering the seriousness and importance of the matter, I would request that members may be given sufficient time of three to four days at least to study the report and prepare themselves for the discussion in the House," he told the Speaker in the letter.

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"I would, therefore, request you to fix a day and time at least three days from now, for taking up the discussion on the Ethics Committee Report," Chowdhury said.

The Congress leader, who is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, had earlier written to the Speaker, saying expulsion is "an extremely serious punishment and has very wide ramifications".

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Joshi, later in the afternoon, moved the motion for discussion on the Ethics Committee's report seeking Moitra's expulsion. Speaker Birla reiterated the necessity of taking strict measures to uphold the dignity of the House and expressed regret that such matters had to be addressed.

The controversy surrounding Moitra revolved around allegations of her sharing credentials and accepting gifts from a businessman in exchange for favors. The "cash-for-query" scandal raised ethical concerns, leading to the Ethics Committee's recommendation for expulsion.

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