Members of the BJP continued to attack a defiant Mahua Moitra, who dismissed the allegations as the “lies” of a “jilted ex”. The Adani group, too, released a statement, alleging that to tarnish its brand value, several individuals as well as groups are working overtime.
Union minister for Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the Trinamool Congress MP had asked a query on reports of the government’s ban on 54 apps. Taking to X, Chandrasekhar alleged that Moitra was asking the question at the behest of the Hiranandani Group. “I hv learnt from news reports that this Parliamentary Question was likely asked by a MP at the behest of a Data center company. If true this is indeed shocking and shameful,” he posted.
In another post, Chandrasekhar said that the company was actively and aggressively lobbying for data localization, and that the language used in the Parliamentary question is very similar, as it linked the need for data localisation to data breaches. He said the language was similar to what was used by the head of this company when they met him. “I am not aware or privy to the full facts or background on this – but if it is true then its a terrible travesty and misuse of PQs,” Chandrasekhar’s post read.
Rebutting his allegations, Moitra said as a member of the IT Committee and the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Data Protection, she posed a valid query. “This is valid question for all Indians. If hostile nation can steal data from apps – can’t they steal India user data stored overseas? Don’t insult my intelligence by alleging I’m fronting others. Something Ruia bag men do,” her post read.
BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, who had filed a complaint against her in the privileges committee, said that Mahua had given access to her her login credentials for the Lok Sabha website to Darshan Hiranandani and the Hiranandani Conglomerate. “If the claims made above are found to be accurate, this constitutes a serious criminal breach of trust as well as a violation of India’s national security because it would give unauthorised individuals access to government websites that may contain classified information,” the BJP MP from Jharkhand’s Godda has added.
In response, Mohua asked IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw for an investigation into the login details of all PAs, assistants, interns and large teams attached to MPs who carry out parliamentary work. “Respected @ashwinivaishnaw please release details of location & login details of ALL MPs with CDRs . Please release info on training given to staff to login,” he posted.
The basis of Dubey’s complaint were allegations made by Jai Dehadrai, a Supreme Court lawyer, who was in a relationship with Mahua, and is now stuck in a embittered battle with her over a Rottweiler he says he brought but was taken away by Mahua.
Based on the allegations of the BJP MPs, the Adani group released a statement. “In this particular case, the lawyer’s complaint reveals that this arrangement to besmirch the reputation and interests of the Adani Group and our Chairman Gautam Adani has been in place since 2018,” the statement read.
The Hiranandani group, too, sent out a statement. “We have always been in the business of business and not in the business of politics. Our group has always worked with the government in there interest of the nation and will continue doing so,” a spokesperson said.
(Published 16 October 2023, 22:23 IST)