“Moitra’s conduct was unethical…,” Ethics Committee member Aparajita Sarangi

Mahua Moitra
Mahua Moitra

NEW DELHI: Following the expulsion of TMC MP Mahua Moitra from the Lok Sabha in a ‘cash for query’ case, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and Ethics Committee member Aparajita Sarangi on Friday said that Moitra’s conduct was “unethical” and it should be condemned.

Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha after a discussion on the report of the Ethics Committee in the ‘cash for query’ that was tabled in the Lower House today.

“I am also a woman, I want to say that whether woman or man, we all are MPs…as per the system, both women and men MPs need to work…Mahua Moitra has done unethical conduct, so it should be condemned. If opposition is standing with her then they are supporting a wrong thing,” Aparajita Sarangi said on Friday.

She further said that the explusion of TMC MP is a lesson to all MPs, when we become MPs, we take an oath, we’re supposed to follow certain rules.

“This is a lesson to all MPs, when we become MPs, we take an oath, we’re supposed to follow certain rules…the whole country is watching us…In Mahua Moitra’s case, immorality was visible…this is the reason why she was expelled from Lok Sabha,” Sarangi added.

The expelled Lok Sabha MP alleged that she has been found guilty of breaching a code of ethics that ‘does not exist’.

Following her expulsion from the 17th Lok Sabha as a Trinamool Congress MP in a ‘cash for query’ case, TMC leader Mahua Moitra on Friday said that the Ethics Committee probing the matter is another “weapon to crush opposition into submission” and that the panel has broken every rule in the book.

Soon after her expulsion, she read her statement on Parliament premises and said, “This LS has also seen the weaponisation of the Parliamentary committee. Ironically the Ethics Committee which was set up to serve as a moral compass for members, instead it has been abused egregiously today to do exactly what it was never meant to do, which is to bulldoze the opposition and become another weapon to ‘thok do’ (crush) us into submission.”

“This committee and this report have broken every rule in the book. In essence you are finding me guilty of breaching a code of ethics that does not exist,” Moitra said, adding that the committee is punishing her for engaging in a practice that is routine, accepted and encouraged in the House.

Moitra further alleged that the findings are solely based on the written testimonies of two private citizens whose versions contradict each other in material terms and her right to cross examine them was snatched.

“None of whom I was allowed to cross-examine. One of the two private citizens is my estranged partner, who with malafide intention, masqueraded as a common citizen in front of the committe. The two testimonies have been used to hang me there at polar opposites to each other,” she said.

“The complainant says (that) I accepted cash in consideration for my businessman to ask questions in furtherance of his commercial interests. But the businessman’s suo motu affidavit, says I pressurised him into uploading questions to further my agenda. The two are at pole of opposites,” she clarified on the issue.

The Ethics Committee report probing ‘Unethical Conduct’ of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP had recommended that Moitra “may be expelled” from the Lok Sabha and called for an “intense, legal, institutional inquiry” by the central government in a “time-bound manner”.

“The serious misdemeanours on the part of Mahua Moitra calls for severe punishment. The Committee, therefore, recommend that Mahua Moitra, MP may be expelled from the Membership of the Seventeenth Lok Sabha,” the report read.

Speaker Om Birla said, “…This House accepts the conclusions of the Committee that MP Mahua Moitra’s conduct was immoral and indecent as an MP. So, it is not appropriate for her to continue as an MP…”

The House was then adjourned till December 11.

The opposition MPs immediately staged a walkout after the Lok Sabha adopted the motion to expel Mahua Moitra as TMC Member of Parliament. (ANI)

Also ReadTMC’s Mahua Moitra attacks Centre in Lok Sabha, asks who’s the ‘Pappu’ now?