Mahua Moitra, a member of the Trinamool Congress, has been expelled from the Lok Sabha following a vote in favor of a motion related to a cash-for-query case. Moitra, who vehemently denies the allegations, criticized the ethics committee for not thoroughly investigating the case and for not summoning the businessman involved as a witness. She asserted that there is no evidence of any cash or gifts.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated a preliminary enquiry (PE) into the matter, which serves as a formal investigation to determine whether to proceed with a regular case based on the available evidence.
In response to the expulsion, the BJP claimed that the Congress government had simultaneously banned 10 of its MPs on the same day. Both the BJP and Congress issued whips to their Lok Sabha members, and the motion for expulsion, moved by Union minister Pralhad Joshi, was passed after two adjournments.
During the proceedings, Moitra invoked references to Hindu mythology, likening the situation to the epic Mahabharata and the concept of ‘vastra haran’ (disrobing), suggesting a larger political battle.
The ethics committee’s report, chaired by BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar, recommended Moitra’s expulsion based on allegations of accepting “illegal gratifications” to raise questions in Parliament on behalf of the businessman. Moitra dismissed the decision as a “prefixed match by a kangaroo court” and characterized it as the “death of parliamentary democracy.”
While the Congress expressed opposition to Moitra’s expulsion, alleging a “political conspiracy” against her, TMC leaders, including Mamata Banerjee, indicated plans to expel her from Parliament, potentially benefitting her ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Abhishek Banerjee, another TMC leader, voiced support for Moitra, emphasizing the party’s solidarity with her.