New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey Sunday levelled serious allegations against Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra, claiming that she took cash and gifts in exchange for asking questions in Parliament.
Responding to Dubey’s charge that businessman Darshan Hiranandani gave her cash and gifts, Moitra said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was welcome to investigate her “right after they finish investigating Adani’s offshore money trail, over-invoicing, benami account”.
In a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Dubey also sought an inquiry against Moitra and her immediate suspension from the House for “breach of privilege, contempt of the House, and criminal offence under Section 120-A of the IPC”. ThePrint has accessed a copy of the letter.
Citing “irrefutable evidence” shared by advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai via a letter, Dubey said that out of Moitra’s recent 61 questions, 50 “shockingly seek information, with the intent of protecting or perpetuating business interests of Shri Darshan Hiranandani and his company. The questions were also often focussed on the Adani Group, another business conglomerate Hiranandani Group was bidding for business against.”
Taking to X, Moitra posted a series of tweets in response.
Multiple breach of privileges pending against fake degreewala & other @BJP4India luminaries. Welcome any motions against me right after Speaker finishes dealing with those.
Also waiting for @dir_ed & others to file FIR in Adani coal scam before coming to my doorstep.
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) October 15, 2023
In yet another tweet, she wrote, “Am using all my ill-gotten cash & gifts to buy a college/ university in which Degree Dubey can finally buy a real degree,” asking the Speaker to first finish the enquiries against Dubey for allegedly false affidavits before setting up a probe committee on her.
Moitra had previously raised allegations about Dubey having fake educational qualifications, which he has denied.
ThePrint emailed Tez Platforms, of which Hiranandani is CEO, for comment. This report will be updated when a response is received.
‘Quid pro quo’
Dubey claimed that the alleged conspiracy did not end there. “In the past few years, a clever facade was crafted” when Moitra “targeted our Honourable Prime Minister and Respected Home Minister, constantly referencing to the Adani Group, giving the impression that she was critical of the government, possibly with intention of seeking cover against her clandestine criminal operation…”
He added that whenever Parliament is in session, “the shouting brigade of All India Trinamool Congress…are in the habit of disrupting the proceedings of the House”. He added that MPs like him were “always perplexed, as to why this ‘shouting brigade’…indulges in such tactics.”
He claimed that the “unmasking of quid pro quo…to raise money from a businessman in lieu of asking questions in Lok Sabha, targeting another business group” showed that “the edifice of ‘morality’ being exhibited by Smt Mahua Moitra was nothing but a ‘Machiavellian camouflage’ for committing a crime by entering into a criminal conspiracy” while enjoying the title of a ‘firebrand MP”.
The letter recalled a similar episode on 12 December, 2005, when the then Speaker constituted an inquiry committee which led to the expulsion of MPs in 23 days. He was referring to the expulsion of 11 lawmakers — 10 from Lok Sabha and 1 from Rajya Sabha after being caught in cash-for-query scandal.
This is not the first time that Dubey and Moitra have levelled allegations against each other.
In 2021, Moitra made a remark about former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi while participating in a debate, which led to a stand-off with Dubey.
In March this year, Moitra accused Dubey of “faking” an MBA degree and acquiring a “dodgy PhD”, asking the Lok Sabha Speaker if these could be grounds for termination. She also shared Dubey’s purported PhD application and said it had no mention of his MBA degree from Delhi University.
They have earlier also clashed in the IT standing committee over several issues.
(Edited by Smriti Sinha)