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Bribery accusation: TMC maintains distance from Mahua Moitra

Kolkata: The Trinamool Congress has decided to maintain distance from the controversy surrounding its MP Mahua Moitra, who has been facing allegations of taking bribes for raising questions in Parliament.

Darshan Hiranandani, the CEO of real estate-to-energy group Hiranandani, who allegedly paid Moitra to raise questions in Parliament about Adani Group, recently claimed in a signed affidavit that she targeted Gautam Adani to ‘malign and embarrass’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose “impeccable reputation” gave opposition no opportunity to attack him.

A copy of the affidavit was reviewed by PTI.

“The party has nothing to say on this issue. We think the person around whom this controversy is revolving is best suited to react to this,” TMC’s West Bengal general secretary and spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.

Another senior TMC leader, who did not wish to be named, said the party leadership is unwilling to get into a controversy and thus “will be maintaining distance from it.”

Reacting to the development, BJP leader Rahul Sinha said West Bengal’s ruling party can’t shrug off its responsibility.

“The TMC always tries to shrug off its responsibility whenever its leaders are either arrested or land into trouble. The TMC needs to explain whether it supports Mahua Moitra or not,” he said.

Earlier in the week, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai alleged that Moitra had accepted favours from Hiranandani in exchange for raising questions in Parliament. In response, Moitra filed a defamation suit against them before the Delhi High Court.

Dubey’s complaint has been referred to Parliament’s Ethics Committee by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

Vinod Sonkar, the chairman of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee, had said he had received the sworn-in affidavit from Hiranandani.

Moitra, however, has raised questions over the credibility of Hiranandani’s affidavit, alleging that it was ‘drafted by the PMO’ and he was forced to sign it after being ‘threatened’ with ‘total shut down’ of his family’s businesses.

(Published 21 October 2023, 14:48 IST)

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