Mahua Moitra expelled from the LS; the 49 year old TMC MP calls it the “Most tenacious witch-hunt of a woman MP”
Moitra, who called the exercise “Kangaroo court” and alleged that the Ethics Committee report that recommended her expulsion has “broken every rule in the book”, said the panel had no power to expel her.
Terming her expulsion move as “the most tenacious witch-hunt of a woman MP” and the “weaponisation of Parliament”committees, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, who was expelled from the Lok Sabha on Friday over the cash-for-query charges, dared the ruling BJP that she would fight it over the “next 30 years, inside and outside Parliament, inside gutter, on streets” to see “its end.”
Moitra, who called the exercise as Kangaroo court and alleged that the Ethics Committee report that recommended her expulsion has “broken every rule in the book” said that the panel had no power to expel.
“You have assumed the powers of a quasi judicial authority and imposed a penalty on me for which you have no power to do, you have disregarded due process, proportionality and abused every tenet.”
Moitra said in a statement outside the Parliament House as Speaker Om Birla did not allow her to speak inside the House during the debate on the motion to expel her from the House. Moitra alleged that the 17th Lok Sabha has seen the weaponisation of the Parliamentary committees to crush the Opposition into submission.
The TMC MP was expelled after the House adopted the report of its Ethics Committee that held her guilty of accepting gifts and illegal gratification from a businessman to advance his interests.
“The 17th Lok Sabha has indeed been historic, it is a house that saw the passage of the women reservation rescheduling bill, but it is presided over by the most tenacious witch hunt of one of 78 women MPs, a first timer, a single woman with no political lineage, elected from a far flung constituency on Bangladesh border.
“This Lok Sabha has also seen the weaponization of the parliament committee. Ironically the ethics committee which was setup to serve as a moral compass for members, instead it has been abused egregiously to do exactly what it was not meant to do which is to bulldoze the opposition and become another weapon to thok do (force) us into submission,” the TMC MP, flanked by opposition MPs outside the House in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue, said.
“This committee and this report has broken every rule in the book. In essence, you are finding me guilty of breaching a code of ethics that does not exist… The committee is punishing me for engaging in a practice that is routine (sharing portal login), accepted and encouraged in the House,” the TMC MP said.
What was Mahua Moitra’s defence?
Moitra argued that the panel’s findings were based “solely on the written testimonies of two private citizens whose versions contradict each other in material terms” and that she was not allowed to cross-examine them.
“One of the private citizens is my estranged partner (Jai Anant Dehadrai), who with malafide intention masqueraded as a common citizen in front of the committee. The two testimonies have been used to hang me. They are completely opposite to each other.
BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai had alleged that Moitra accepted cash and gifts from businessman Darshan Hiranandani as bribes for asking questions in the Lok Sabha. Moitra has denied these allegations.
“The complainant says that I accepted cash from a businessman to ask questions in furtherance of his commercial interest. But The businessman suo moto says in his affidavit that I pressurised him to uploading question to further my agenda. They are polar opposite,” Moitra argued. She added that the Ethics Committee, chaired by BJP’s Vinod Sonkar had not bothered to get to the root of the issue but decided on her “with no evidence of any cash or any gifts anywhere.”
“The recommendation of the expulsion is based solely on the grounds that I have shared my Lok Sabha portal login. There are no rules whatsoever to govern the sharing of logins as the hearing of the ethics committee demonstrates. All of us, MPs are conveyor belts to get questions from the public, from citizens and to voice that in Parliament,” she said.
Mahua Moitra, who has often taken on the BJP government and raised several allegations against its nexus with Adani Group, reiterated that her expulsion indicated what the BJP government could do for the businessman.
“What is important is that if the Modi government thought by shutting me up, they are going to do away with Adani issue , let me tell you that this Kangaroo court has only shown to the whole of India that the haste and the abuse of the due process demonstrates how important Mr Adani is for you and what length you will go to harass a woman MP in shutting up her into submission.”
More specifics of Mahua Moitra’s fiery speech on the steps
Mahua Moitra said while accusing her of compromising national security with a login portal, Adani and her foreign professional investors have been buying the country’s infrastructure, including all the airports and ports. In her fiery speech, Moitra also raised BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri’s use of communal slurs against BSP MP Danish Ali in the House in September.
“Ramesh Bidhuri stands up in Parliament and tells Danish Ali – he is one of the 26 Muslim MPs in a country of 200 Muslims and the BJP has 303 MPs and not a single Muslim.. Ramesh Bhiduri stood up and called Danish Ali Bharwa & Katua. No action has been taken. You hate minorities. You hate women. You detest Nari Shakti. You cannot handle power and authority” Moitra said.
“I am 49 year old and for the next 30 years I will fight you inside Parliament, outside Parliament in the gutter, on the street. We will see the end of you,” she warned.
“Punjab, Sindh, Gujarat, Maratha, Dravida, Utkal, Banga… You don’t have Punjab, Sindh is not ours. Dravid, Utkal and Banga are not yours. Where do you think you are going to rule us? Where do you think you are going to get this brute majority from?” the TMC leader asked.
She ended her statement with a Bangla couplet. “This the beginning of your end. Jab Naash Manush Par Chhata Hai, Tab Pehle Vivek Mar Jata Hai. We are going to come back and we are going to see the end of you.”