TMC leader Mahua Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha as a result of an Ethics Committee investigation into the allegations of “cash for query” made against her. Businessman Darshan Hiranandani allegedly offered Moitra bribes of ₹ 2 crore in cash and “luxury gift items” in exchange for her raising pointed questions of the administration in Parliament.
Additionally, Moitra was charged with giving up the login information for her private, secret account on the parliamentary website so that Hiranandani could ask questions there. Moitra, a fervent opponent of the Modi administration, acknowledged disclosing the login credentials but refuted the bribery allegations.
Following a heated debate and voice vote, Om Birla declared, “This House endorses the Committee’s judgment that MP Mahua Moitra engaged in immoral and indecent behavior. Thus, it is inappropriate for her to serve as an MP going forward.”
#WATCH | Cash for query matter | TMC's Mahua Moitra expelled as a Member of the Lok Sabha; House adjourned till 11th December.
Speaker Om Birla says, "…This House accepts the conclusions of the Committee that MP Mahua Moitra's conduct was immoral and indecent as an MP. So, it… pic.twitter.com/mUTKqPVQsG
— ANI (@ANI) December 8, 2023
Mamata Banerjee, the party chief and chief minister of Bengal, described the expulsion of Ms. Moitra as “unacceptable” and claimed that “vendetta politics of (the) BJP had killed democracy”.
“Mahua will win the battle…. people will give justice. They (BJP) will be defeated in the next election,” Ms Banerjee said, drawing battle-lines (if more were needed) before next year’s general election.
The roughly 500-page report that the Ethics Committee had submitted to the House hours earlier had set off a furious dispute between the opposition, which included Ms. Moitra’s party, and the ruling BJP. During the brief discussion that ensued, enraged opposition Members of Parliament pushed for Ms. Moitra’s right to speak and asked additional time to review the material.
Speaker of the Lok Sabha Om Birla, however, declined permission, citing the 2005 expulsion of ten MPs—six of them were BJP members—due to a case involving a comparable controversy.