The 'Cash for Query' bribery case involving Mahua Moitra: A complex narrative involving a former relationship, Adani, and Hiranandani
Firebrand Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra has been in the middle of a controversy that can cost her the Member of Parliament seat, after BJP MP Nishikant Dubey accused her to taking bribes, with the case dubbed as ‘cash for queries’.
BJP MP Nishikant Dubey leveled serious allegations against Mahua Moitra, claiming that the TMC MP has been “asking questions in the Parliament in exchange of cash and gifts from a businessman”, demanding her immediate suspension from the Lok Sabha.
Terming the allegations against her as “baseless and defamatory”, Mahua Moitra responded to the BJP MP by “welcoming any move against her after the Lok Sabha Speaker is finished dealing with pending charges against him (Dubey)".
What is the “cash for queries” controversy?
In a letter addressed to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey wrote that there was “irrefutable evidence of bribes” exchanged between Mahua Moitra and businessman Darshan Hiranandani, the CEO of the real-estate conglomerate Hiranandani Group.
The letter stated that out of the 61 questions asked by Moitra in the Parliament, 50 were aimed at billionaire Gautam Adani and his conglomerate Adani Group, which has often been in the crosshairs of the Trinamool Congress.
Dubey said in his letter, “There is not an iota of doubt about a criminal conspiracy hatched by Mahua Moitra to garner and protect the business interests of a businessman -- Darshan Hiranandani -- by asking Parliamentary questions, which is reminiscent of ‘Cash for Query’ episode of December 12, 2005.”
Now, Speaker Om Birla has sent the complaint filed by Dubey against Mahua Moitra to the Ethics Committee of the Lok Sabha for review. The allegations were leveled by Dubey after a lawyer named Jai Dehadrai, who had initially filed a complaint with the Supreme Court.
According to reports, Dehadrai and Mahua Moitra shared a “close relationship” but parted ways due to a personal conflict. The matter further took a deeper turn when Hiranandani revealed to the Ethics Committee that Moitra had shared her Parliament login ID so that the businessman could “post questions on her behalf”.
The businessman claimed that Moitra wanted to make a name for herself and her friends advised that “the shortest route to fame is by attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi” Further, “whistleblower” Dehadrai has alleged that there is a threat to his life, and BJP claims that TMC is trying to influence the witness.