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Mahua Moitra expelled from Lok Sabha in Cash for query matter

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Trinamool  Congress MP Mahua Moitra has been expelled from the Lok Sabha for her unethical conduct in the Cash for query matter. When the House met after the second adjournment at 2 PM, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi moved a motion over the Ethics Committee report on the matter which had recommended expulsion of the TMC MP from the House.

Speaker Om Birla allowed a discussion over the motion. Mr Birla said the matter which is being taken up is painful. He underlined that Members should maintain dignity of Parliament and democracy and there should not be any compromise on it. He added that the Members’ conduct should not be such that lowers the dignity of Parliamentary democracy.

Initiating the discussion Congress MP Manish Tewari said Members have not been given enough time to study the report of the Committee. Questioning the Ethics Panel for recommending expulsion of Ms Moitra, he said, the accused was not given time in the panel to put forward her views. Mr Tewari argued that the House is working as a Judge and Jury to decide the fate of a Member, and in this situation the whip issued by different parties for their members to vote in a particular direction is not right.

Objecting to it, the Speaker said, the House is not a court and he is not a judge. He added that it is the House to take a call over the issue not the Speaker.  Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, Mahua Moitra should be given an opportunity to express her views on the Ethics Committee report. He said, at least four days should be given to study the report.

TMC members also requested the Speaker to allow Ms Moitra to speak but the Speaker gave the precedence of 2005, when the then Speaker Somnath Chatterjee had denied such request in a similar case. Kalyan Banerjee of TMC questioned why the Committee did not examine businessman Darshan Hiranandani on whose statement the whole case was made. He rejected the allegation that cash was received to ask questions. Girdhari Yadav of JD(U) also argued that why the businessman was not questioned by the Committee.
 
Participating in the discussion, BJP MP Hina Gavit rejected the opposition argument that enough time was not given to study the report saying during the UPA Government in 2005, a report was presented and 10 Lok Sabha members were expelled on the same day. She said, Ms Moitra was given enough time to put her view in the Ethics Panel. 

She highlighted that the matter is very serious as a Member of Parliament and a businessman are involved in it. She said, the Login and password of the TMC MP were used at four different locations on the same day. She added that Ms Moitra asked 61 questions in the Lok Sabha out of which 50 questions were related to the sectors in which businessman Hirannandani was involved. The BJP MP said, such conduct has lowered the dignity of the House and tarnished the image of Indian Parliament giving the

impression that Indian MPs are not able to ask their questions on their own. Another BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi also echoed similar view. Later, the House adopted the motion to accept the Ethics Committee report with voice vote.
 
When the House was taking the matter for voice vote, the opposition members staged a walkout. Later, the House was adjourned for the day.
 
The  Ethics Committee  had conducted an enquiry  over  BJP MP Nishikant Dubey’s allegations that Ms Moitra accepted bribes and favours for asking questions in Lok Sabha at the behest of businessman Darshan Hiranandani to target the Adani Group and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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