Mahua Moitra has denied all the charges against her.
Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra was today expelled from the Lok Sabha after a discussion on the report of the Parliament's ethics committee in the 'cash for query' case. The House held her guilty of sharing her Parliament account credentials and accepting gifts from businessman Darshan Hiranandani in exchange for asking questions critical of the Narendra Modi government in Parliament.
"This House accepts the conclusions of the committee that Mahua Moitra's conduct was immoral and indecent as an MP. So, it is not appropriate for her to continue as an MP," speaker Om Birla said.
Ms Moitra, who was not allowed to speak during the heated debate over the matter inside the Lok Sabha, read out her statement outside the House. "The (parliamentary ethics) committee broke every rule... Tomorrow, the CBI will be sent to my home to harass me," Ms Moitra claimed.
From Banker To Politician
The 49-year-old, who is known for her fiery speeches in the Parliament, was an investment banker before she joined politics. She left her position as vice-president at JPMorgan Chase in London in 2009 and joined the Indian Youth Congress - the youth wing of the Congress party.
Ms Moitra was said to be one of the trusted aides of the party's former chief Rahul Gandhi in the 'Aam Admi ke sipahi' project.
After a brief stint at the Congress, she joined the Trinamool Congress in 2010 and was offered a ticket from Karimpur in 2016 West Bengal assembly election despite much criticism from some party workers describing her as too "urbane". Ms Moitra, however, took on the challenge and successfully won the election.
Ms Moitra, who is seen by many as the urban version of feisty Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was given a Lok Sabha ticket in 2019 from Krisnanagar - a seat she won against her rival Kalyan Chaubey from the Bharatiya Janata Party.
She was appointed the Goa in-charge for the 2022 Goa assembly elections.
Hours after her expulsion today, Ms Banerjee dubbed the move as a "betrayal" of the country's parliamentary democracy. "It is a shame for parliamentary democracy. We condemn the way Mahua Moitra was expelled; the party stands with her. They (the BJP) can't defeat us in the election, so they have resorted to vendetta politics. It is a sad day and the betrayal of Indian parliamentary democracy," she told reporters.
'Cash-For-Query Case Against Mahua Moitra'
The 'cash-for-query' charges against the Trinamool leader emerged in October after Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai - who Ms Moitra described as "a jilted ex" - filed a complaint with the CBI and forwarded a copy to the Lok Sabha, seeking to address alleged corruption and money laundering.
Soon after BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who alleged Ms Moitra had accepted bribes from Mr Hiranandani in exchange for asking questions in Parliament critical of PM Modi and businessman Gautam Adani, requested the immediate suspension of Ms Moitra.
A few days later, Mr Hiranandani submitted an affidavit alleging she shared her parliamentary credentials with him to post questions targeting the Adani Group and PM Modi.
Ms Moitra, who has been denying all the charges against her, admitted to sharing her login credentials with the businessman and also to havig received some gifts from her: "one scarf, some lipsticks and one eye shadow".
The Ethics Panel of Parliament then summoned both Mr Dubey and Mr Dehadrai in the case. Ms Moitra was summoned soon after but she defied the summons while also demanding the summons to cross-examine Mr Hiranandani.
She finally appeared before the committee on November 2 before staging a walkout. Six out of ten members of the Ethics Committee voted to adopt the 479-page report. The remaining four members, belonging to opposition parties, registered dissent.
The report was tabled in the House Friday noon. Later the government moved a motion seeking her expulsion from the House, saying her continuation as an MP has become "untenable".
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