Karti Chidambaram uses timed-out dismissal analogy on Mahua Moitra expulsion

Speaking outside Parliament, Chidambaram said a woman, particularly a single woman who has been humiliated and wronged, only rises in politics

Karti Chidambaram said Moitra's expulsion was akin to weaponising a law to eliminate an opponent (photo: National Herald archives)
Karti Chidambaram said Moitra's expulsion was akin to weaponising a law to eliminate an opponent (photo: National Herald archives)
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PTI

Congress MP Karti Chidambaram on Friday used the analogy of Sri Lankan cricketer Angelo Mathews' timed-out dismissal in the recently-held cricket World Cup while slamming the Union government over the expulsion of TMC MP Mahua Moitra from the Lok Sabha in a "cash-for-query" case.

Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha after the House adopted the report of its ethics committee that held her guilty of accepting gifts and illegal gratification from a businessman to further his interest.

After a heated debate over the panel report during which Moitra was not allowed to speak, parliamentary affairs minister Prahlad Joshi moved a motion to expel the Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP for "unethical conduct", which was adopted by a voice vote.

Speaking to PTI outside Parliament, Chidambaram said a woman, particularly a single woman who has been humiliated and wronged, only rises in politics. He said Moitra is going to come back to the 18th Lok Sabha with a bigger winning margin of votes.

"It is a very unfortunate event. The House has relied on a very erroneous report, a report which has no legal basis. The report has violated every principle of natural justice and the procedure of evidence," he said. "There has been a complaint, there has been an ethics committee, there has been a recommendation, and there has been an acceptance of it, which is only an eyewash."

He alleged that this was akin to weaponising the law to eliminate an opponent. "Two weeks ago, there was the World Cup and Angelo Mathews was timed out by Shakib (Al Hasan) of Bangladesh. Even though it was within the law, people said it was against the spirit of cricket. In India, people do not mind if one is defeated, they do not like it when you humiliate someone," Chidambaram said.

Mathews became the first player to be dismissed "timed out" in international cricket when he failed to take strike within the stipulated time of two minutes following the dismissal of Sadeera Samarawickrama in their World Cup match against Bangladesh, triggering a controversy.

The Sri Lankan player had called Bangladesh's decision to dismiss him via time out "disgraceful". The players of the two teams did not shake hands with each other after the match on 7 November.

Chidambaram also drew a parallel with the Mahabharat, saying the same thing happened in Kurukshetra, when Karna was killed by Arjuna. "His kavach was taken, his kundal was taken, his astra was taken, then you did a fake eclipse and his chariot was stuck in the mud, then Arjuna killed him at the behest of Krishna and both their karma became bad because of that," the Congress leader said.


"In my limited experience in politics, I can tell you that a woman, particularly a single woman who has been humiliated and wronged, only rises in politics and I can assure you that Mahua Moitra is going to come back to the 18th Lok Sabha with a bigger majority," he added.

Chidambaram also pointed out that paragraph 72 on page 52 of the report says the panel found Moitra's conduct was "highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal", but in the very next line, it recommended an "intense legal, institutional inquiry by the government in a time-bound manner".

"After finding her conduct criminal, you are asking for an inquiry. So how can you find someone's conduct criminal and then ask for an inquiry? You should have done an inquiry before coming to the conclusion that you are a criminal. If you find somebody a criminal, you must follow the procedure that means you should allow cross-examination," he said.

Two people levelled allegations against Moitra and were not cross-examined, Chidambaram said. "This is a completely flawed report. The house has accepted this flawed report and expelled her. This is a blot on democracy," the MP from Tamil Nadu said.

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