Opposition members of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee, along with TMC MP Mahua Moitra, staged a walkout during a recent meeting, alleging that the committee’s chairperson, BJP MP Vinod Sonkar, had posed personal and unethical questions to Moitra.
In response, Sonkar accused the opposition members of unethical behaviour and boycotting the meeting to divert attention from the allegations against Moitra. Following the meeting, Sonkar claimed that “objectionable words were used against the committee’s functioning and against him.”
Congress MP and panel member N Uttam Kumar Reddy, speaking on behalf of the opposition members, stated, “We found the ethics committee chairperson’s questions to Moitra undignified and unethical.”
The ethics committee had summoned Moitra to depose regarding allegations of “gifts-for-query” made against her. Opposition members also raised concerns about the meeting’s overall conduct.
In contrast, BJP MP and panel member Aparajita Sarangi criticized Moitra for her behavior during the meeting, describing her as “angry, rude, and arrogant” when questioned about an affidavit submitted to the committee by businessman Darshan Hiranandani.
The accusations against Moitra stem from allegations that she had submitted parliamentary questions on behalf of Hiranandani in exchange for bribes and favors from the Dubai-based scion of a prominent business family. Moitra denied these allegations, claiming they were motivated by personal animosity with advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai after their personal relationship soured.
During the meeting, Moitra found support from opposition MPs, including Reddy and Danish Ali of the BSP, who focused on her personal relationship with Dehadrai and its relevance to the leaks and allegations.
On the other hand, some BJP members, including V D Sharma, urged Moitra to address the substantive part of the allegations.
The complaint against Moitra was filed by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who cited Dehadrai’s submission. The matter was referred to the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and the ethics committee.
Speaking separately to reporters, Dubey expressed confidence in the evidence against Moitra, emphasizing that “no power can save Moitra” in light of the provided evidence.