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'Cash for query' row: LS Ethics Committee to hold first meeting on Oct 26

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee will have its first meeting on the ‘cash for query’ allegations against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Thursday, with complainants BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai scheduled to record their statements.

The schedule for the October 26 meeting of the panel headed by BJP MP Vinod Sonkar said, “Oral Evidence of Shri Jai Anant Dehadrai, Advocate in respect of complaint dated 15 October, 2023 given by Nishikant Dubey, MP against Mahua Moitra, MP for alleged direct involvement in cash for query in Parliament. Oral evidence of Nishikant Dubey, MP, in respect of a complaint dated 15 October, 2023 given by him against Mahua Moitra, MP for alleged direct involvement in cash for query in Parliament.”

Based on information provided by Dehadrai, the BJP MP had complained to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, seeking action against Moitra and accusing her of taking cash and gifts from businessman Darshan Hiranandani and providing him with her Parliament login credentials to post questions on her behalf.

The Trinamool MP had denied the allegations, as a “jilted ex’s (Dehadrai) lies” and accused the Adani Group of behind them to target her.

On Wednesday, Dubey posted on ‘X’, “the question is about the dignity of Parliament, security of India and the proprietary, corruption and criminality of the alleged MP. The answer has to be given whether NIC mail is open in Dubai or not? Ask questions in exchange for money or not? Who bore the expenses of travelling abroad? Have you ever taken permission from the Lok Sabha Speaker and MEA to go abroad or not? The question is not about Adani, degree or theft, but about your corruption by misleading the country.”

Dubey had earlier alleged that Darshan had used Mahua’s credentials to log in to Parliament’s website. On her part, Mahua had asked the government to release log-in data of all MPs’ to see whether they were present at the location whenever the access attempts were made.

In a signed affidavit, Darshan had claimed that Mahua targeted Gautam Adani to “malign and embarrass” Prime Minister Narendra Modi. On Tuesday, Dubey shared a letter from Union Minister Ashwani Vaishnaw, which said the government will provide all help of the National Informatics Service to the Lok Sabha Secretariat in the Ethics Committee’s probe.

(Published 25 October 2023, 13:39 IST)

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