10 days ago, I was asked to call Gautam Adani and 'number 2': Mahua Moitra
Moitra repeats she was approached by two Lok Sabha MPs connected to Gautam Adani first three years ago, then nine months ago, and then just ten days ago
Speaking to journalist and YouTuber Barkha Dutt, beleaguered Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra, accused of accepting cash and gifts for asking questions in Parliament — a charge she has repeatedly denied — reiterated that she was approached on behalf of Gautam Adani for a third time to sort out differences, if any.
Twice earlier, she reiterated, she had been approached with similar offers. The Lok Sabha MPs known to Adani had conveyed that the industrialist was ready to sit across the table and answer all her questions. She claimed to have rebuffed the overtures by saying she had nothing to discuss with Adani in private. "I conveyed that Mr Adani could go and take a walk," she told Dutt.
Pointedly asked by Dutt whether she would be able to back up her claims if called upon to do so, Moitra replied that she will not name the intermediaries but in future, if she ever meets Adani, she would share the names with him.
Barely 10 days ago, she confided to Dutt on 3 November, she was approached once again by a third person. This person advised her to call Adani and "Number 2" and put an end to the media trial. All that they wanted, this person said, was for her to keep quiet for the next six months until the 2024 Lok Sabha elections are over.
Are you suggesting that Mr Adani was trying to make peace with you, asked Dutt. The irritated MP retorted saying, “How would I know whether he wanted to make peace or wage war against me?” Declaring that she did not care one way or the other, Moitra repeated her allegation that the Adani Group was guilty of pulling off the biggest corporate scam in the country and she was asking questions in public interest.
Pointing out that the Adani Group, which had zero experience of running airports, had been handed over one airport after another beginning with Mumbai, Moitra wondered why she was not entitled to question the process. The Adani Group had also acquired the contract for the Dhamra port without a tender, she pointed out.
Dismissing reports that her friend Darshan Hiranandani — who allegedly gained access to the NIC parliamentary portal through her — may have been a competitor of Adani, Moitra vehemently denied that Hiranandani was ever a competitor. "Darshan did not bid for Dhamra," she pointed out.
Even if Hiranandani were a competitor, why couldn’t she as an MP seek to know and understand from him the nuances of the business, she asked. Weeks before Mumbai airport was handed over to the Adani Group, the GMR Group, which was handling the airport, was raided by the IT department, she pointed out. Wouldn’t it be logical for any MP to reach out to GMR and get details and the chronology, she asked.