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Mahua Moitra writes to Lok Sabha Speaker, says 'proverbial vastraharan' at Ethics panel meet

With the dramatic end of the Parliamentarian Ethics Committee, Moitra opened a front against Vinod Sonkar - Chainman of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee, claiming he asked filthy questions. She, after the meeting, wrote a strongly worded letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: November 02, 2023 23:01 IST
TMC MP Mahua Moitra
Image Source : PTI/FILE TMC MP Mahua Moitra

Trinamool Congres MP Mahua Moitra, who appeared before the Parliamentary Ethics Committee in the alleged cash-for-query case, wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday. In her letter, the TMC leader alleged that she was subjected to the "proverbial vastraharan" by the chairperson of the Ethics Committee Vinod Sonkar during a hearing in New Delhi.

The TMC MP also alleged that Sonkar, instead of asking questions pertinent to the matter, exhibited a preconceived bias by questioning her in a malicious and defamatory way.

She wrote, "I write to you in great anguish today to update you on the unethical, sordid, and prejudiced behaviour meted out to me at the hearing of the Ethics Committee by the Chairman. I have been subjected to the proverbial 'vastraharan' by him in the presence of all members of the Committee." 

Citing Dehadrai's submission, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey had filed a complaint against her with the Lok Sabha Speaker who referred the matter to the committee. 

"The committee ought to designate itself under a name other than the Ethics Committee as it has no ethics and morality left. Instead of asking questions pertinent to the subject, the Chairman exhibited a preconceived bias by maliciously and clearly in a defamatory way questioning me, so much so that 5 of the 11 members present walked out and boycotted the proceedings in protest at his shameful conduct," she said in her strongly worded letter.

Countercharges by Sonkar 

The Ethics committee chairperson later said the committee had been tasked with conducting a comprehensive probe into the matter and that instead of cooperating, Moitra turned angry along with opposition MPs walked out of the meeting abruptly. He claimed Moitra used "objectionable words" and made unethical claims against him.

Dubey in his complaint claimed that Moitra asked questions, which were keyed in through her parliamentary account, at the behest of businessman Darshan Hiranandani. It was also alleged that she shared her login credentials with the Dubai-based businessman. 

In her letter, the TMC MP also requested the Lok Sabha Secretariat to disclose the regulations governing the sharing of one's login and password of the portal to merely type out questions, adding that nothing could be submitted without an OTP.

"Why were these rules never given to MPs and if they were why is every single MP sharing this id and login with numerous people?" she said.

"I repeatedly protested on record that while the Chairman was welcome to ask me any question relevant to the enquiry- namely on the login and on those allegations of gifts for which evidence, or rather complete lack of it, existed he could not ask me detailed personal questions making insinuations about my dignity as a woman," the MP added.

Earlier, BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi said the proceedings of the Parliamentary Standing Committee are confidential by nature and they should have not spoken outside about the meeting. 

"The very thing that she (Moitra) did was wrong. They all came out and they all said things about the committee, about the goings on within the committee, it was wrong. These things are very confidential. The conduct of Mahua Moitra was condemnable. She used unparliamentary words for our chairman and for all the members of the committee. So, the chairperson of the Committee was asking questions regarding the contents of the affidavit by Hiranandani and she did not want to answer them. And then they created a ruckus," she added.

(With PTI inputs)

Also read: Parliament Ethics Committee meeting on Mohua Moitra ends dramatically | What panel members said


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