The Lok Sabha ethics committee on Wednesday summoned Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey and advocate Jai Anand Dehadrai on October 26 in connection with their “cash for query” complaint against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, reported PTI.
On Sunday, Dubey had written to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and sought to have Moitra immediately suspended for allegedly taking bribes from businessman Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions in Parliament.
He accused Moitra of a breach of parliamentary privilege, contempt of the House and criminal conspiracy. Nearly 50 of the 61 questions asked by Moitra were meant to “seek information with the intent of protecting or perpetuating business interests” of Hiranandani, Dubey alleged in his letter
“The questions were also often focused on the Adani Group, another business conglomerate, Hiranandani Group, was bidding for business against,” the BJP MP claimed.
Dubey cited a letter from Dehadrai, who is also Moitra’s former partner, claiming that he had shared “irrefutable evidence” about the Trinamool Congress MP asking questions in Parliament in exchange for cash and gifts.
Dehadrai also claimed that Moitra had given access to her online Lok Sabha account to Hiranandani. He alleged that the businessman misused this access to post Parliamentary questions that would benefit him.
On Tuesday, Birla referred Dubey’s complaint to the ethics panel of the Lok Sabha. On Wednesday, the committee asked Dubey and Dehadrai to appear before it on October 26 to record their statement.
Moitra has denied the allegations and sued Dubey and Dehadrai for defamation. She has also sent notices to 18 news organisations that reported the allegations.
The Opposition MP has asked the Lok Sabha Speaker to first investigate the “multiple breach of privileges pending against Dubey and other BJP leaders” before initiating any motion against her.
The allegations against Moitra had also evoked a reaction from the Adani Group on Monday. The conglomerate, accused of pulling off the “largest con in corporate history” by American firm Hindenburg Research, said that Dubey’s allegations corroborates their claims that some groups and individuals are “working overtime to harm” its reputation.
“Mr A, this lame statement, [is] your best effort?,” Moitra asked in response. “Falling back on fake degree MP and a jilted ex’s lies? I won’t rest till ED [Enforcement Directorate], CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] investigate and freeze Rs 13,000 crore coal scam you have stolen from Indians. I’m told even hon’ble Narendra Modi is sick of you and your frauds.”
In her defamation notice to Dubey, Moitra said that over the years she has had arguments with him on various issues. Moitra claimed that she “rattled” Dubey in March by questioning the authenticity of his educational qualifications and disclosures in his election nomination papers.
In the notice to Dehadrai, Moitra claimed that after their falling out, he had sent her several “vile, malicious and vulgar” messages and also trespassed into her official government home. Moitra also accused the advocate of stealing her possessions, including her pet dog, which he later returned.