This Article is From Nov 09, 2023

Mahua Moitra Victim Of Politics, Can Fight On Her Own: Abhishek Banerjee

Abhishek Banerjee has said the firebrand leader is "competent enough to fight her own battles".


Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee has come out in support of party MP Mahua Moitra, accused of taking money from a prominent businessman for asking questions in Parliament. Calling the Krishnanagar MP a "victim of politics", Mr Banerjee has said the firebrand leader is "competent enough to fight her own battles".

Accusing the BJP of targeting Trinamool leaders, Mr Banerjee said, "I feel this step by the central government and what I read of the ethics committee report, they have said an investigation should happen against her. If you do not have anything against Mahua (Moitra) and it is the subject of investigation, why has an expulsion been recommended? I feel Mahua is competent enought to fight her battles on her own. They are victimising me for four years too, it is their standard practice," he said,.

These are the first remarks by Mr Banerjee, considered the Number 2 in Trinamool at this point, in connection with the Mahua Moitra case. His remarks are significant against the backdrop of Trinamool's caution in commenting on the allegations against Ms Moitra.

The Mamata Banerjee-led party, which has repeatedly accused the ruling BJP of misusing central agencies and other institutions to target political rivals, has been conscipicuosly silent in its remarks in this matter and has largely left Ms Moitra to fight her case as several issues from her personal life have dominated the discussions.

Mamata Banerjee, who has addressed the media several times over the past month, has not spoken at all about the allegations against Ms Moitra. Earlier, party spokesperson Kunal Ghosh told the media that the party "has nothing to say on this issue". "We think the person around whom this controversy is revolving is best suited to react to this," he said.

Derek O'Brien, Trinamool's leader in Rajya Sabha, said last month that the Trinamool Congress leadership will take an appropriate decision in the matter after the Parliamentary panel probing the matter completes its investigation.

"The member concerned has been advised by the party leadership to clarify her position regarding the allegations levelled against her. She has already done that. However, since the matter has to do with an elected MP, her rights and privileges, let the matter be investigated by the right forum of Parliament, after which the party leadership will take an appropriate decision," he said.

Ms Moitra has been accused of receiving cash and expensive gifts from businessman Darshan Hiranandani for asking questions in parliament.

NDTV has accessed the report by the Parliamentary ethics committee examining the matter. Calling Ms Moitra's actions "highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal", the panel has said she should not be allowed to continue as an MP and her Lok Sabha membership should be terminated.

"The money trail of cash transaction between Smt Mahua Moitra and Shri Darshan Hiranandani as a part of a 'quid pro quo' should be investigated by the government of India in a legal, institutional and time-bound manner," the report read.

BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who complained against Ms Moitra to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, yesterday said anti-corruption body Lokpal has ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the corruption allegations against the Trinamool MP.

"On basis of my complaint, Lokpal has ordered a CBI probe into the Mahua Moitra's corruption that compromises national security," he posted on X.

In his complaint, the BJP MP alleged that Ms Moitra accepted cash from businessman Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions in parliament on his behalf to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi and business rival Adani Group. He also claimed that Ms Moitra, by sharing her parliamentary login with the businessman, had compromised national security.

Ms Moitra has claimed that there is no regulation regaring the sharing of login and password. Earlier, she had walked out of a meeting with the ethics panel, saying she was asked "filthy questions". Opposition MPs on the panel had also questioned how the meeting was conducted and staged a walkout. BJP MPs on the panel, including its chairman Vinod Sonkar, accused Ms Moitra of not cooperating in the probe and walking out to avoid being questioned.

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