This Article is From Nov 09, 2023

"Over In Minutes": Danish Ali On Mahua Moitra Report, Committee Head Says...

Lok Sabha Ethics Committee Chairman, BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar, has said protocol was followed but "some people wanted to obstruct the probe" into corruption allegations against the Trinamool's Mahua Moitra.

'Over In Minutes': Danish Ali On Mahua Moitra Report, Committee Head Says...

Kunwar Danish Ali is the BSP Lok Sabha MP from Uttar Pradesh's Amroha seat (File).

New Delhi:

Shortly after the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee voted (narrowly, 6:4) to recommend expulsion of Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra from Parliament over corruption charges, Bahujan Samaj Party lawmaker Danish Ali flagged what he said were "procedural errors" in the entire process.

The committee's Chairman, BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar, responded swiftly, telling news agency ANI that protocol had been followed but "there were some people who wanted to obstruct the probe".

Mr Ali, subject to communal slurs by the BJP's Ramesh Bidhuri in Parliament in September, claimed there was little discussion on a 500-page report that lacked details from the hearing's first day.

"Today we (opposition MPs on the Committee) have raised questions on procedure. We have raised such questions from Day 1. Chairman was 15 minutes late and in 2.5 minutes meeting was over."

"Such a big report but there was no discussion. And what was not in the report (details from the committee's first sitting, which recorded statements from Ms Moitra and her accusers) - the two hours in which questions were raised by the opposition," a clearly upset Mr Ali told ANI.

READ | "Expel Mahua Moitra From Lok Sabha": Ethics Panel In 500-Page Report

Mr Ali claimed the committee head, Mr Sonkar, put the report to a quick vote and left.

Asked to reply, Mr Sonkar said: "There were some people who wanted to obstruct the probe... but the report was adopted by a majority. Danish Ali, who tried to obstruct, submitted his dissent note."

Six members, including suspended Congress MP Preneet Kaur (who is also former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's wife), voted in favour of the report. Those opposed submitted dissent notes; sources told ANI a common complaint in these was that the inquiry was unfair.

READ | Ethics Panel OKs Mahua Moitra's Expulsion From Parliament In 6:4 Verdict

The sources said Darshan Hiranandani - the businessman who allegedly gave Ms Moitra bribes - should have been summoned to ensure a "free-and-fair inquiry in all respects".

Meanwhile, Mr Ali also hit out at certain members of the committee (whom he did not name) in the context of claims Ms Moitra was asked "filthy questions" while her statement was being recorded.

The opposition MPs claimed Mr Sonkar repeatedly asked personal questions of Mahua Moitra.

READ | The Questions Asked Of Mahua Moitra After Which She Walked Out Of Meet

The BJP leader rubbished those charges and insisted that Ms Moitra had not co-operated.

"Mahua Moitra did not cooperate with the committee and the investigation. Opposition members also made allegations in anger and walked out... objectionable words used against me," he said.

READ | MP Abused In Lok Sabha: BJP's Ramesh Bidhuri Fails To Appear Before Panel

Mr Ali also contrasted the swiftness of action in this case with apparent stagnation in a Privilege Committee hearing against Mr Bidhuri, the BJP leader who used communal slurs against him.

With input from agencies

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