Lok Sabha expels TMC leader Mahua Moitra over cash-for-query case

Mahua Moitra reaches for Lok Sabha session. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha on Friday expelled Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra after holding her guilty of sharing her credentials with others and accepting gifts from a businessman to extend favours.

After a heated debate during which Moitra was not allowed to speak, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi moved a motion to expel the Trinamool member for "unethical conduct", which was adopted by a voice vote.

Opposition members walked out of the House as the Lok Sabha speaker started the voting process on the motion moved by Joshi.

The Ethics Committee of the Lok Sabha had recommended Moitra's expulsion from the House over the "cash-for-query" allegation.

The Lok Sabha's Ethics Committee on Friday submitted its report in the lower house recommending the expulsion of Trinamool Congress member Mahua Moitra over the "cash-for-query" allegation.

Ethics Committee Chairman Vinod Kumar Sonkar tabled the panel's first report when the House re-convened at noon after an adjournment during the Question Hour.

Trinamool Congress members and some from the Congress trooped into the Well of the House raising slogans demanding a copy of the report. Trinamool Congress member Kalyan Banerjee demanded a discussion on the report before its recommendations are put to vote, which would lead to the expulsion of Moitra from the House.

Amid uproar, BJP member Rajendra Agrawal, who was in the chair, adjourned the proceedings till 2 pm. 

Businessman Darshan Hiranandani, who allegedly paid Moitra to raise questions in Parliament about the Adani Group, had claimed in a signed affidavit that Moitra targeted industrialist Gautam Adani to "malign and embarrass" Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

At a meeting on November 9, the Committee adopted its report recommending Moitra's expulsion from the Lok Sabha over the "cash-for-query" allegation.

Six members of the panel, including suspended Congress member Preneet Kaur, voted in favour of the report. Four members of the panel belonging to opposition parties submitted dissent notes.

The opposition members termed the report a "fixed match" and said the complaint filed by BJP Lok Sabha member Nishikant Dubey, which the panel reviewed, was not supported by a "shred of evidence".

Moitra can be expelled only if the House votes in favour of the panel's recommendation.

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