West Bengal MP Mahua Moitra, who is one of the popular parliamentarians in the country, has got expelled from the Lok Sabha on Friday - December 8 and her expulsion has sparked political storm with the opposition parties stage a scathing attack against the centre-ruling Modi regime. As her expulsion has come months ahead of the 2024 general elections, it also has fueled the allegations against the BJP over its clampdown on the dissenters.
49-year-old Moitra is a leader of West Bengal-ruling Trinamool Congress party and is known as one of the staunch critics of the Modi government. She is a first-time parliamentarian and she has come under the scanner of the House Ethics Committee over various allegations including sharing her login credentials to an unauthorized person, an event that is argued as a threat to the national security.
Some of the charges against Moitra include an accusation from BJP MP Nishikant Dubey that she had accepted bribes from businessman Darshan Hiranandani to pose questions in Parliament. Based on Dubey's written plaint against Moitra to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, the House Ethics Committee had initiated a probe. Throwing a serious allegation, Dubey claimed that Supreme Court advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai had provided evidence of bribes exchanged between Moitra and Hiranandani.
These allegations have come at a high time when Moitra waged series of attacks against the Modi regime over its favorism for business tycoon Gautam Adani, who is believed to have close ties with the Prime Minister. In a signed affidavit, Hiranandani said that Moitra targeted Gautam Adani with an intention to embarrass and malign Prime Minister Modi.
The Ethics Committee investigated the matter and adopted a report last month by a 6-4 majority, accusing Moitra of sharing her login credentials and password with an unauthorized person, compromising national security. The Committee's report claimed that Moitra accepted a combination of money, cash and kind, amenities, and various other facilities from Hiranandani after sharing her credentials to him.
The committee further claimed that 50 out of 61 questions posed by Moitra in the Parliament were aimed at promoting or protecting Hiranandani's business interests. The committee came to a conclusion that Moitra's actions had elements of unethical conducts, breaching the privileges given to an MP, and constituted contempt of the House. The conclusion had sparked speculations that Moitra could be expelled from the Lok Sabha.
In its report, the Ethics Committee urged the government to conduct an intense, legal, institutional inquiry. Weeks after adopting the report, a motion to expel Moitra from the House was brought to the floors and with a clear majority in the Lok Sabha, the BJP MPs voted to expel Moitra after which it was passed by the House on Friday, pushing Moitra to mark a rare history - getting expelled from the House in the first term as an MP.
The expulsion of Moitra from the House had sparked a fresh political storm with several opposition leaders coming in to express their solidarity to her. West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, when reacting to expulsion of her party's MP, said 'they (BJP) killed democracy'. Banerjee said, "This is vendetta politics of BJP. It is injustice. Mahua will win the battle. The people will give justice. They will be defeated in the next election."
Condemning the expulsion, Mamata Banerjee alleged that they didn't allow Mahua Moitra to explain her stand. She said, "Today, I am sad to see the attitude of the BJP party. Full injustice has been done." Banerjee further said that her party would fight along with the opposition INDIA bloc against his expulsion. "I am telling you that Mahua is a victim of the circumstances. It is unfortunate for the democracy", she added.