Say the chairperson’s questions to Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra are undignified and unethical
Committee Chairperson Vinod Sonkar and MP BJP President Sharma arrive at Parliament House. Pic/PTI
Opposition members of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee on Thursday stormed out of a meeting along with Mahua Moitra, accusing the panel’s chairperson of asking the TMC MP personal and unethical questions. “We found the ethics committee chairperson’s questions to Moitra undignified and unethical,” Congress MP and panel member N Uttam Kumar Reddy told reporters after the walkout. Opposition members of the committee, which had asked Moitra to depose before it in connection with allegations of “gifts-for-query” against her, also questioned the manner in which the meeting was conducted. The committee continued with its deliberations even after the protest.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Moitra on Thursday pleaded innocence to the allegations levelled against her and told the parliamentary committee that the charge is motivated by animus of advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai after she broke her personal relations with him, sources said. She found support from some opposition MPs, including Reddy and Danish Ali of the BSP, in the meeting while a few BJP members, including V D Sharma, wanted her to respond to the substantive part of the allegations and not make it all about personal relationship going bad. Sources said a large part of her deposition before the ethics committee was about her relationship with Dehadrai as she appeared to blame him for leaks and the allegations.
Citing Dehadrai’s submission, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey filed a complaint against her with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla who referred the matter to the committee. Moitra has been accused 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.
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