"Ethics Panel Broke Every Rule": Mahua Moitra Protests With Opposition MPs

Mahua Moitra Expulsion: "The committee broke every rule... Tomorrow, the CBI will be sent to my home to harass me," Mahua Moitra told reporters outside parliament today

'Ethics Panel Broke Every Rule': Mahua Moitra Protests With Opposition MPs

Mahua Moitra has been expelled from the Lok Sabha

New Delhi:

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra - expelled from the Lok Sabha today - accused the parliamentary ethics committee that looked into cash-for-query allegations against her of "breaking every rule".

"The committee broke every rule... Tomorrow, the CBI will be sent to my home to harass me," Ms Moitra told reporters outside parliament today.

The ethics committee submitted the report in parliament today after weeks of cross-examining all the people involved in the matter, including the complainants lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai and BJP leader Nishikant Dubey.

Ms Mahua was not allowed to speak on the matter in parliament today, which drew protest from some Opposition leaders who said she should be allowed to present her view too.

"... The Lok Sabha has presided over the most tenacious witch-hunt of one of the 78 MPs, a first-timer, a single woman, with no political lineage... This Lok Sabha has also seen the weaponisation of a parliamentary committee," Ms Moitra told reporters today.

"Ironically, the ethics committee which was set up to serve as a moral compass for members, instead has been abused today to do exactly what it was never meant to do - which is to bulldoze the Opposition and become another weapon to thok do us into submission. This committee and the report have broken every rule in the book," the visibly furious Trinamool Congress MP, flanked by Opposition MPs, told reporters on the steps outside parliament.

Sonia Gandhi, who was walking behind Ms Moitra, said the Opposition stands with what the Trinamool Congress MP has said.

The ethics committee doesn't see Ms Moitra's allegations that she was not allowed to speak today as a valid one. She had walked out during her cross-examination, calling the committee's questioning "filthy".

Any question of her not being allowed to speak today doesn't arise as she was given an opportunity to present her views at the committee's meeting. It was up to her whether she waned to speak or not at the committee meeting held on November 2, but she can't later claim she has not been given an opportunity to speak - this appears to be the committee's reasoning.

Political analyst Tehseen Poonawalla told NDTV today Ms Moitra did not get a fair hearing, and also questioned the scope of the committee. "... The committee can't recommend the quantum of punishment. It can only decide whether an MP can be punished or not. The house today functioned as a quasi-judicial body, giving justice or punishment to a Member of Parliament," Mr Poonawalla said.

The Trinamool Congress MP has called Mr Dehadrai, who filed the complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), her "jilted ex". Following the complaint, Mr Dubey had led the call to investigate the allegation that Ms Moitra gave her parliament login ID to businessman Darshan Hiranandani to target the Adani Group and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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