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NIC will extend full cooperation: Vaishnaw responds to Dubey's letter seeking probe against Mahua Moitra

New Delhi: Union IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Tuesday said the National Informatics Centre (NIC) will extend ‘full cooperation’ to the Parliament’s Ethics Committee in the investigation of charges levelled by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey against TMC’s Mahua Moitra.

Sharing a copy of Vaishnaw’s letter on X, Dubey said it is the beginning of a ‘dharma yuddh’.

Moitra said she is ‘amused’ by Vaishnaw’s response to Dubey’s letter and welcomed the BJP ‘to do a hit job on me’.

Dubey has accused Moitra of accepting bribes and favours for asking questions in Lok Sabha at the behest of businessman Darshan Hiranandani to target the Adani Group and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier, the BJP MP wrote to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla in this regard.

In his letter to Vaishnaw on October 15, Dubey urged the minister to take the allegations against her with ‘utmost seriousness’, investigate the IP addresses of Moitra’s log-in credentials for her Lok Sabha account and whether there were any instances in which her account was accessed from a location where she was not present.

Replying to Dubey, the IT minister said the issues raised by him are of grave importance.

“National Informatics Centre acts as a service provider on the instructions of organisations availing services from NIC. As a service provider, NIC is instrumental in providing IT services to various organisations of the government of India,” he said.

Matters related to user-access and website policy, etc. are within the purview of the organisations that avail services from the NIC, the minister said.

“In the case of the Lok Sabha website, the organisation availing services from the NIC is Lok Sabha Secretariat under the control of Speaker, Lok Sabha,” he said.

“The issues raised in your letter are undoubtedly of grave importance. The subject matter of your letter is currently under investigation by the Committee on Ethics (Lok Sabha),” he said.

The NIC will promptly respond to any instructions in this matter from the Lok Sabha Secretariat, the minister assured, adding, “NIC will also extend full cooperation to the Committee on Ethics in investigation of this matter.” In his post on X, Dubey said the greed of an MP put the country’s security in danger.

“Beginning of ‘dharma yuddha’ after burning of Ravana’s effigy… This is a question of the country’s security and integrity, which goes above partisan politics,” he said in Hindi.

In his letter to Birla, Dubey claimed that 50 of the 61 questions Moitra asked in the Lok Sabha till recently were focused on the Adani Group. The business conglomerate has often been accused of malpractices by the TMC MP, more so after it was at the receiving end of a critical report by short seller Hindenburg Research.

Reacting sharply to Vaishnaw’s response to Dubey’s letter, Moitra said in a post on X, “Amused to hear of @AshwiniVaishnaw letter to Fake Degree Wala promising support in (a) probe against me.”

“Still waiting for Home Ministry & Ministry of Civil Aviation to probe Farji Dubey’s illegal entry into airport ATC room last year with kids,” she said.

In another post, the Krishnanagar MP said two days ago, Dubey had said the NIC had already provided information to the probe agency.

“Who is lying? 2 days ago Fake Degree Wala said NIC already given details including ‘Dubai’ logins to probe agency. Now Ashwini Vaishnaw says NIC will give info in future if asked by LS or Ethics Comm.,” Moitra said.

“BJP, welcome to do hit job on me but Adani+Godda perhaps not best strategists,” she said, referring to Dubey’s parliamentary constituency.

(Published 24 October 2023, 17:28 IST)

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