Firebrand MP removed from India parliament over bribery scandal

Mahua Moitra was an MP from the opposition Trinamool Congress

India’s parliament kicked out a member of the opposition party because he was accused of taking money in return for asking questions.

Mahua Moitra said she was kicked out without any evidence, even though she denies the accusations.

She can choose to take the decision to court and argue against it.

Friday, lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted to expel someone after passing a resolution.

Earlier today, a report from an ethics panel suggested that Ms Moitra should be kicked out of the house. The lawmakers who disagree with the report wanted more time to read it before discussing it, but the speaker said no.

Congress MP Manish Tewari said during the debate that if we had been given a few days to study the report and share our opinions with the house, it wouldn’t have caused such a big problem. The decision the house is making is very important and we need time to think about it.

Ms Moitra is a member of Trinamool Congress party, which is currently in charge of the West Bengal state. She strongly criticizes Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has the most seats in the Lok Sabha.

Her friends in the party protested in the building on Friday, chanting and supporting Ms Moitra. The meeting was stopped for an hour before the lawmakers came back to talk.

Leaders of the Trinamool Congress said the report was not reliable and insisted that the accusation of bribery was untrue. They and other people against the government have said that Ms Moitra was attacked because she spoke out against Mr Modi’s party.

Speaker Om Birla said Ms Moitra couldn’t talk in the house on Friday. He said she already had a chance to defend herself in front of the ethics committee. Ms Moitra left when the committee was asking her questions. She said they were unfair and not right.

The problem started in October when a politician named Nishikant Dubey accused Ms Moitra of asking questions about the Adani Group in return for gifts and money from a businessman named Darshan Hiranandani.

Mr Adani is thought to be friends with Mr Modi and has been accused by politicians from other parties of getting advantages from their friendship, but both Mr Adani and the BJP say it’s not true.

Earlier this year, a company in the United States accused Mr. Adani of doing illegal things with stocks and money for many years. The Adani Group says the allegations are not true and calls the report “malicious”.

Mr Dubey said that until recently, Ms. Moitra asked 50 out of 61 questions in the Lok Sabha about the Adani Group. He also accused her of taking bribes worth 20 million rupees from Mr. Ms Moitra has said very strongly that this is not true.

The BJP leader said he has proof against Ms Moitra from a lawyer named Jai Anant Dehadrai, who Ms Moitra called her ex-boyfriend.

Mr Hiranandani told the ethics committee that the TMC leader is targeting Mr Adani because he wants to become well-known. Ms Moitra doubted if the affidavit was real, but Mr Hiranandani said he signed it willingly.

Mr Dubey complained that Ms Moitra gave her login details to Mr Hiranandani so he could ask questions for her in Parliament.

Ms Moitra said she gave her login information to the businessman, but she didn’t think she broke any rules by doing that.

She has sued Mr Dubey and Mr Dehadrai in the Delhi high court for saying bad things about her.


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