Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra has acknowledged that she provided her Parliament login and password information to her friend and businessman Darshan Hiranandani. However, she vehemently denied any involvement in receiving monetary compensation, as alleged by Supreme Court advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai in his complaint to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
During an interview, Moitra explained the situation against the backdrop of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee’s investigation into the cash-for-query accusations against her. She stressed that it is not common for MPs to personally draft their own questions. Instead, she admitted to providing her login credentials to Darshan, enabling someone in his office to compose and upload the questions.
Moitra further clarified that an OTP (one-time password) is necessary to submit these questions, and she was the one designated to receive the OTP on her phone. She emphasized that there is no possibility of Darshan or anyone else submitting questions without her knowledge.
Regarding her appearance before the Ethics Committee, Moitra has requested an extension until after November 5, as opposed to the previous deadline of October 31. She defended her questions, totaling nine, which pertain to the Adani Group, asserting their significance in serving the national interest.
In response to inquiries regarding allegations of receiving money and favoring Hiranandani over Adani, Moitra countered by asking, “Tell me where is the money? The main thing to prove is the quid pro quo. Darshan, in his affidavit, says he is the biggest fan of Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi. Where did he attack Adani? The analysis given in the affidavit (by Dehadrai) of my questions are laughable.”
Moitra vehemently dismissed Dehadrai’s complaint as baseless, stating, “This complaint is utterly fabricated. It appears that someone with a failed personal relationship was used to file this bogus complaint, and pressure was applied to a friend of mine, Darshan, to support it. However, the allegations don’t align. It’s essentially a poorly executed attempt to tarnish my reputation.”
She further pointed out, “We possess an affidavit from Hiranandani, and it’s important to note that he did not make any mention of any monetary transactions.”
Moitra also mentioned that on occasions when she was in Mumbai or Dubai, she was routinely picked up and dropped off at the airport by Darshan’s car. “I am providing you with the unvarnished truth, and if Darshan can provide any additional evidence to the contrary, he is welcome to do so. There is no record of receiving cash or anything else from him. My reputation relies on my integrity,” she emphasized.
She went on to challenge the analysis of her questions as presented in Dehadrai’s affidavit, which prompted BJP MP Nishikant Dubey to request a parliamentary inquiry into her actions. Moitra dismissed this analysis as “absurd and groundless.”