The Congress said it will oppose the proposed expulsion of Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra from the Lok Sabha in the cash-for-query case, describing the move as “political conspiracy”, reported ANI.
“Our position is very clear, this is a political conspiracy to harass and target Mahua Moitra,” said Congress General Secretary (Organisation) Jairam Ramesh at a press conference. “We will oppose any measure that the government will bring to suspend or expel her.”
The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee is expected to table its report recommending the expulsion of Moitra on Tuesday.
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey and advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai, reportedly Moitra’s estranged partner, have accused her of taking bribes from businessman Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions in Parliament.
“The questions were also often focused on the Adani Group, another business conglomerate, Hiranandani Group, was bidding for business against,” the BJP MP claimed.
On Monday, Ramesh said the Congress wants a discussion on the Ethics Committee report. “We want Mahua Moitra to have an opportunity to respond to the charges that have been hurled at her by various MPs through the media,” he added.
Last week, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had written to the Lok Sabha Speaker seeking a review of the rules on the functioning of parliamentary committees. Chowdhury’s letter came in the context of proceedings in the Lok Sabha’s Ethics Committee against Moitra.
The ethics panel had adopted its report recommending Moitra’s expulsion from the Lok Sabha at a meeting on November 9. The committee had called Moitra’s actions “highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal”.
Six panel members, including Congress MP Preneet Kaur, supported the report while four Opposition leaders submitted their dissent notes against it.
Moitra can be expelled only if the House votes in favour of the panel’s recommendation.
In October, the Trinamool Congress leader had clarified in an interview that she gave Hiranandani access to her online Lok Sabha account but denied taking any bribes from him. She had claimed that MPs do not type their own questions and that the queries can only be submitted upon entering a one-time password, which is delivered to the phone number of the legislators.