Last Updated: October 28, 2023, 23:14 IST
The firebrand TMC member had earlier sought time from the Lok Sabha ethic committee in connection with the ‘cash for query’ case. (Photo: PTI/File)
Moitra has been accused of receiving over Rs 2 crore in cash and several luxury items from Hiranandani for asking questions in Parliament, allegedly designed to target the Adani group
Senior TMC leader and MP Mahua Moitra, who has been facing allegations of taking bribes for raising questions in Parliament, on Saturday questioned the veracity of it and asked the complainant for evidence to prove if she took money from businessman Darshan Hiranandani for asking questions in the House, allegedly designed to target the Adani Group.
In an exclusive interview with CNN-News18, Moitra said that the accusations were brought on by people she had an acrimonious relationship with.
“They are saying I have taken some Rs 2 crores and 75 lakhs in cash from Mr Hiranandani for asking questions in the Parliament, but where is the evidence? Anybody can say anything, but there is no concrete evidence or documentaries that prove a financial exchange in the matter,” Mahua said.
“The complainant was disposed 14 times before the Parliamentary ethics committee but he could not provide anything backing his claims,” said Moitra, adding that the affidavit submitted by Hiranandani, which is the only corroborative proof in the case, does not mention “cash” anywhere.
On claims that her Parliamentary credentials were “compromised and were shared with Hiranandani’s team”, Moitra told CNN-News18 that she sought help from one of Hiranandani’s secretaries to type in her questions in the portal which “does not amount to a breach of Parliamentary privilege”.
“Hiranandani was my friend even before I was an MP and since I have a remote constituency, I used someone from my friend’s office to help me type my questions in the Lok Sabha portal,” she continued.
The TMC MP further said that it was standard practice as no Parliamentarian types his or her questions in the portal anyway. “This work of putting in question is done by interns, and secretaries anyway, so there was no breach of login credentials in this,” Moitra added.
Moitra on Receiving Gifts from Hiranandani
During her exclusive conversation with CNN-News18, Moitra acknowledged receiving four specific items from Hiranandani, including a scarf and high-end makeup.
The four items disclosed by Moitra are a Hermès scarf, some Bobbi Brown makeup, a car and a driver when she visited Mumbai and an architectural drawing for renovation work in her official residence.
What is ‘Cash For Query’ Case
Moitra has been accused of receiving over Rs 2 crore in cash and several luxury items from Hiranandani for asking questions in Parliament, allegedly designed to target the Adani group.
In an affidavit, Hiranandani alleged Moitra shared her Lok Sabha mail ID to send her information targeting the Adani Group so she could raise questions in the Parliament. He claimed she later gave him her login credentials so he could post questions directly.
Zakka JacobZakka Jacob is the Managing Editor of CNN-News18 and writes extensively on Indian and global politics. He tweets at @Zakka_Jacob….Read More