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Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra expelled from Parliament over ‘cash-for-query’ scandal

49-Year-old Moitra was also accused of surrendering log-in credentials to her personal and confidential account on the parliamentary website, so Mr Hiranandani could post questions directly. A fiery critic of the Modi government, Ms Moitra had scrapped the bribery charges but admitted to sharing the log-in details.

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

New Delhi: In a significant development, Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha on Friday, December 8, 2023, amid allegations of cash-for-query. The revelation drama began when it was suggested that Moitra had received cash and gifts, including ₹ 2 crore in cash, from industrialist Darshan Hiranandani in exchange for her Parliament login credentials. These were allegedly used to post questions that targeted the well-known Adani Group.

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The Lok Sabha session was turbulent, resulting in two adjournments on the report. Despite protests from the opposition, Moitra’s fate was sealed by voice vote. The decision was taken following a recommendation from the ethics committee, which had earlier submitted a report that found Moitra guilty of sharing her credentials with others and accepting gifts in return for favors.

49-Year-old Moitra was also accused of surrendering log-in credentials to her personal and confidential account on the parliamentary website, so Mr Hiranandani could post questions directly. A fiery critic of the Modi government, Ms Moitra had scrapped the bribery charges but admitted to sharing the log-in details.

After the vote, Moitra made a statement outside the Lok Sabha, in which she strongly claimed her innocence. She criticized the proceedings as being similar to a kangaroo court, denying any evidence of cash or gifts. She disputed the grounds for removal and emphasized that there is no rule against sharing login information.

The Ethics Committee report, which was earlier listed for presentation on Monday, was thrust into the spotlight. When asked for more time, Trinamool and Congress did not review it in detail. However, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla concluded that Moitra’s conduct was unethical and unbecoming, leading to her expulsion.

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The complaint against Moitra was initially made by lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai and was brought to the notice of the Lok Sabha Speaker by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey. After questioning all parties involved, the ethics committee recommended Moitra’s removal.

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