Cong's Adhir Chowdhury comes out in support of TMC MP Mahua Moitra in cash-for-query case
The Congress partys Lok Sabha leader, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, expressed support for TMC MP Mahua Moitra facing expulsion in a cash-for-query case, criticising the alleged unethical conduct of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee in orchestrating her removal for scrutinising the government.He also questioned how the confidential discussions in the Ethics Committee meeting on the issue had been made public.
The Congress party's Lok Sabha leader, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, expressed support for TMC MP Mahua Moitra facing expulsion in a ''cash-for-query'' case, criticising the alleged unethical conduct of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee in orchestrating her removal for scrutinising the government.
He also questioned how the confidential discussions in the Ethics Committee meeting on the issue had been made public. Chowdhury's comments followed his letter to Speaker Om Birla, in which he called for a reevaluation of the rules and processes governing parliamentary committees.
A report adopted by a majority in the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee last month recommended Moitra’s expulsion from the House, accusing her of accepting “illegal gratifications” to raise questions in Parliament at the behest of businessman Darshan Hiranandani.
The report is scheduled to be presented in the Lok Sabha on Monday. At a press conference, Chowdhury said, ''I decided to write to the Speaker because how an elected MP is being insulted and humiliated is unacceptable. The ethics committee is functioning in the most unethical manner. How can the ethics committee chairman disclose what happened in a closed-door meeting? Is this ethical?'' As the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Chowdhury emphasised the confidentiality of discussions in such meetings, stating they cannot be made public.
The West Bengal Congress president, despite being a vocal critic of the TMC, asserted that the issue transcends party affiliations. He contended, ''This is about how an opposition MP is being harassed, and witch-hunting is going on without any proof of misconduct.'' ''They are talking about bribes, but where is the proof, where is the money? Without any evidence, how can someone recommend the expulsion of an MP? This is injustice. I decided to protest against it, and it has nothing to do with her party affiliation,'' he added.
Chowdhury's remarks elicited strong reactions from the opposition BJP in West Bengal, questioning whether he was endorsing corruption. BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya urged Chowdhury to clarify his stance on corruption and criticised his support for Moitra, accusing her of jeopardising national security.
The TMC MP has been accused of sharing her parliamentary log-in credentials with the businessman, ''If the Congress supports corruption, then it should clear its stand. And if not, then it should oppose Adhir Chowdhury's remark,'' he said. The TMC has not responded to Chowdhury's expression of support for Moitra. During an all-party meeting convened by the government ahead of the Winter session of Parliament, TMC leaders demanded a discussion in the Lok Sabha regarding the Ethics Committee's recommendation to expel her from the House in the ''cash-for-query'' case.
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