Ethics Committee calls to end Mahua Moitra’s Lok Sabha membership
“Modi-Adani Bhai Bhai/ Sab institutions bye bye,” quips the Trinamool MP soon after Adani-owned NDTV shares the ‘operative part’ of the committee's recommendation
"Glad to see Adani TV has a copy of Unethical Standing Committee Report before it is placed before the committee tomorrow," posted Lok Sabha member of Parliament Mahua Moitra late on the evening of Wednesday, 8 November.
Minutes before, NDTV — which the Adani Group has the majority stake in — had reported that the Ethics Committee of the Lok Sabha would be recommending today, 9 November, that her Lok Sabha membership should be "terminated".
Unfazed by the development, Moitra posted a video of her taking a symbolic penalty kick and putting a football into the net in her constituency.
While it is not clear whether the Committee, scheduled to meet later today, has reportedly recommended her suspension or the termination of her membership of Parliament, it will be for the Speaker and the Lok Sabha to take the final decision.
It is also not clear whether the report has been prepared in consultation with all the members of the Committee. At the Committee's last two meetings, 10 of the 15 members besides chairman Vinod Sonkar were present. However, Moitra had already expressed her apprehension that the committee’s meeting, originally scheduled for 7 November, was rescheduled to 9 November precisely because some of the vocal members of the Opposition—some of whom walked out with Moitra over the "unethical" questions she was asked at the hearing—would not be present.
Trinamool Congress's Mahua Moitra should not be allowed to continue as an MP and her membership should be terminated, the Parliamentary Ethics Committee examining the cash-for-query allegations against her has recommended. Calling Mahua Moitra's actions 'highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal', the committee said it calls for severe punishment. In the operative part of the 500-page report accessed by NDTV, the committee has also recommended that a 'legal, intensive, institutional and time-bound investigation' be held into the entire matter.
The Committee has concluded that Mahua Moitra had shared user ID with "unauthorised persons", took cash and amenities from businessman Darshan Hiranandani and it was "serious misdemeanour" on her part which calls for "serious punishment".
"The money trail of cash transaction between Smt Mahua Moitra and Shri Darshan Hiranandani as a part of a 'quid pro quo' should be investigated by the government of India in a legal, institutional and time-bound manner", the report read.NDTV
The original complainant behind this probe was Nishikant Dubey, a BJP MP. Dubey also posted that on his complaint against Moitra, the Lok Pal has ordered a CBI inquiry.
With the Lok Sabha’s term ending in the next six months, Moitra will miss the winter and the budget sessions of Parliament if removed, and lose several perks, including her official bungalow—for which she allegedly took the help of her businessman friend Hiranandani to get engineering drawings prepared.
Moitra, however, may still have the last laugh if she manages to get relief from the court (which she cannot approach till she actually loses her membership) or if she is renominated by her party to contest in the next Lok Sabha election and storms back into Parliament on the people's mandate.
"I have 30 years of political life left. If I have to spend the next five years in the trenches fighting them, so be it. I will wear my expulsion as a badge of honour," Moitra told The Telegraph.