As she prepares to appear before the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee regarding the allegations of cash-for-query against her, TMC MP Mahua Moitra has written a letter to the committee’s chairperson, Vinod Kumar Sonkar. In the letter, she expresses her desire to exercise her right to cross-examine businessman Darshan Hiranandani and advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai.
Additionally, Moitra stipulates that if the Ethics Committee seeks a report from any department and intends to rely on it during the proceedings, she should be provided with a copy of the report and given the opportunity to cross-examine the relevant department.
Moitra’s two-page letter, shared on ‘X’ on Tuesday, was written in response to a letter dated October 28, which informed her of the Committee’s hearing scheduled for November 2.
In her letter, Moitra notes that she had initially requested a hearing date after November 5 due to her prior commitments related to Vijaya Dashmi programs. “It is thus extremely surprising that the Committee has not acceded to this request, is categorically denying me any further extension, and is forcing me to appear before it on a date that is clearly clashing with my constituency commitments. While registering my protest, I wish to inform you that I will respect the summons and appear before the Committee on November 2, 2023, at 11 a.m.,” she wrote. Moitra also pointed out a stark contrast in the treatment of BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri’s case, who has a pending complaint of hate speech against him in the Privileges and Ethics branch. This complaint was filed by a member of the same Committee, Danish Ali, MP.
Moitra further highlighted that Bidhuri was called to provide oral evidence on October 10 but had conveyed to the Committee that he was engaged in a campaign in Rajasthan and thus couldn’t attend. As of now, no subsequent hearing date has been provided for him. She emphasized, “I wish to place on record that these double standards reek of political motives.”
Concerning the allegations made against her, Moitra emphasized that the complainant, Dehadrai, has not presented any documentary evidence to substantiate his claims, either in his written complaint or during the oral hearing.