Mahua Moitra says parliamentary panel ‘forcing me to appear’ in cash-for-query case; wants to cross-examine businessman

New Delhi: Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra on Wednesday released a two-page letter to the parliamentary panel after alleged the committee of releasing her summons over the cash-for-query case to the media. In the letter, she demanded to ‘cross-examine’ industrialist Darshan Hiranandani who alleged the MP of sharing her official login credentials with him, taking bribes in exchange of asking questions in the Parliament about the Adani Group, targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Since Ethics Committee deemed it fit to release my summons to the media I think it is important I too release my letter to the Committee before my hearing’ tomorrow,” she wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Moitra further alleged the Lok Sabha’s Ethics Committee of “forcing me to appear before it” despite her request to extend the date of hearing on the matter. She referred to a different case regarding the case in connection with the use of unparliamentary words by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri directed at BSP MP Danish Ali. She said ‘a different approach’ was adopted for the BJP MP in that case as opposed to the BSP MP, and alleged the panel of having ‘double standards’.

The businessman had earlier said in an affidavit to the committee that he had given gifts in return for asking questions in Parliament, an allegation Moitra has been refuting on various platforms since BJP MP Nishikant Dubey for the first time raised the matter. The businessman had said that the TMC leader targeted Gautam Adani to ‘malign and embarrass’ the Prime Minister. He also claimed that he had given information to Moitra on the basis of which she attacked the Adani Group in Parliament.

Calling Hirnandani a ‘bribe-giver’, the TMC MP said the businessman’s allegations are backed with scant details and lack documentary evidence. Along with the businessman, she demanded cross-examining the concerned departments from which the panel sought report on the case. She also asked if the ethics panel is a right forum to investigate such alleged criminality since it is not the committee’s jurisdiction on such cases.