TMC MP Mahua Moitra expelled from Lok Sabha for taking bribe to ask questions

Mahua Moitra

New Delhi: In a shocking development, Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra was expelled from the membership of the Lok Sabha on Friday for allegedly taking bribes to ask questions in the House on behalf of a businessman. The expulsion came after the House adopted the report of the Ethics Committee of the Lok Sabha, which recommended strict action against Moitra for her “objectionable, immoral, heinous and criminal” conduct.

The Ethics Committee, headed by BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar, had probed the complaint of BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who had accused Moitra of targeting Adani Group and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the behest of businessman Darshan Hiranandani instead of asking questions in the House. Dubey had claimed that he had evidence of Moitra receiving money from Hiranandani through a shell company.

The committee, in its report presented by Sonkar in the Lok Sabha on Friday, said that Moitra had violated the code of conduct and the dignity of the House by indulging in such a corrupt practice. It also demanded a thorough, legal, and institutional investigation into the matter by the Government of India in a time-bound manner.

The opposition, especially the TMC, protested against the report and demanded that Moitra should be given a chance to defend herself in the House. However, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla rejected their plea, citing earlier parliamentary practice. He said that the Ethics Committee had given Moitra enough opportunity to present her case, but she had failed to do so.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi then moved a motion for Moitra’s expulsion, which was passed by the House by voice vote. Moitra, who was present in the House, walked out in protest, saying that she was being victimized for raising her voice against the government.

Mahua Moitra

Moitra is the first MP to be expelled from the Lok Sabha on the grounds of corruption. She is also facing a defamation case filed by Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary for calling him a “paid news peddler” in a tweet.