'Prefixed match by a kangaroo court': Mahua Moitra on ethics panel’s expulsion recommendation

“I will be back with a bigger mandate,” says the Trinamool MP

TMC MP Mahua Moitra | PTI TMC MP Mahua Moitra | PTI

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra has termed the Lok Sabha ethics committee’s recommendation to disqualify her from the house over the cash-for-query allegations as a “prefixed match by a kangaroo court” and the death of parliamentary democracy.

 "Even if they expel me in this Lok Sabha, I will be back in the next Lok Sabha with a bigger mandate,” the firebrand leader said in an interview to news agency PTI.

The ethics committee, headed by BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar, adopted its report against Moitra on Thursday with six members voting in favour and four against. The report will be submitted to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday.

"This is a pre-fixed match by a kangaroo court, which is of no surprise or consequence. But the larger message is that for India, it is death of parliamentary democracy," Moitra said.

The TMC MP is accused of taking bribes from businessman Darshan Hiranandani for asking questions in parliament targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and industrialist Gautam Adani. She also faces allegations that she had shared the login details of her Lok Sabha account with Hiranandani so that the latter could directly post the questions.

“I was not allowed to cross-examine the main complainant. Not a single piece of evidence of cash or gifts given till today, the issue of login sharing is a non-issue because every MP shares it with 10 people and there are no NIC rules,” Moitra said in the interview.

Moitra also questioned the ethics committee’s power to probe the cash-for-query allegations.

"If indeed it was a serious matter of cash for a query, that is an issue of a breach of privilege and should have gone to the privilege committee. The Ethics Committee's mandate is to look into unethical conduct. This is a typical hatchet job. Last night, it was leaked to the media," she said.

The MP had deposed before the ethics panel on November 2, though she walked out in the midway, accusing the panel chairman of asking personal and unethical questions.

BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who filed the complaint against Moitra, and advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai, who reportedly provided the evidence against the TMC MP, had also deposed before the committee.

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