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Explained: Here's why TMC MP Mahua Moitra is facing expulsion from Lok Sabha

Accusations surfaced against Moitra for accepting financial benefits in connection to posing inquiries. The Ethics Committee proposed Moitra's disqualification over these allegations, highlighting the gravity of the controversy.

Explained Here is why TMC MP Mahua Moitra is facing expulsion from Lok Sabha AJR
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First Published Dec 8, 2023, 2:22 PM IST

The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee's recommendation for the disqualification of Mahua Moitra, an Opposition MP, has stirred controversy following a cash-for-query scandal. The committee's report, tabled in the Lok Sabha, alleges Moitra's involvement in accepting money and gifts in exchange for posing specific questions, leading to a fierce political battleground.

Accusations surfaced against Moitra for accepting financial benefits in connection to posing inquiries. The Ethics Committee proposed Moitra's disqualification over these allegations, highlighting the gravity of the controversy.

Winter Session of Parliament: Ethics Committee report on TMC MP Mahua Moitra tabled in Lok Sabha

1. Accusers and accepted charges:
Former associate Jai Anant Dehadrai and BJP lawmaker Nishikant Dubey accused Moitra of accepting bribes for raising specific issues in the Lok Sabha. Moitra admitted to sharing her online credentials with a businessman, Darshan Hiranandani, to submit pre-approved questions, intending to present them later in the Lok Sabha.

2. Adversarial claims and suspension demand:
Dubey claimed Moitra favored the Adani Group in exchange for gifts, while Dehadrai allegedly provided evidence of the alleged bribes. Demanding a suspension, Dubey cited a precedent in 2005 when 11 MPs faced disqualification over similar "cash-for-query" accusations.

3. Moitra's defense and businessman's claims:
Moitra defended sharing her login details, arguing it's a widespread practice among MPs, dismissing Dubey's claims as politically motivated. Meanwhile, Hiranandani confessed to presenting Moitra with luxury items and financially supporting her bungalow's renovation, using Moitra's login to post queries.

4. Apostille method and Ethics Committee proceedings:
Hiranandani's admissions received certification through the Apostille method, verifying the authenticity of his statements. The Ethics Committee scrutinized Moitra's conduct rigorously, leading to contentious proceedings. Moitra accused committee chief Vinod Kumar Sonkar of asking inappropriate and personal questions during the investigation.

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5. Recommendations for punishment:
The committee's recommendations include branding Moitra's actions as "Unethical Conduct" and "Contempt of the House." They propose Moitra's expulsion from the Seventeenth Lok Sabha due to her sharing of credentials and accepting financial benefits from Darshan Hiranandani, a Dubai-based businessman.

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