Trinamul Congress leader in Lok Sabha Sudip Bandyopadhyay Friday described the Ethics Committee's recommendation to expel party MP Mahua Moitra in a "cash-for-query" allegation as "political vendetta" and claimed that it was aimed at stopping her from raising issues against the Adani Group.
Bandyopadhyay said he had a one-on-one meeting with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, who informed him that the report would be tabled along with a resolution.
He told the Speaker that Moitra should be given time to make her speech on the floor of the house to which Birla replied that half an hour would be given for discussion on the matter.
Bandyopadhyay asked why was the MP who alleged that Moitra was paid cash for asking questions not called to the Ethics Committee meeting.
"The first meeting (of the ethics panel) ended in a short time and could not produce any result. Why was a second meeting not held? Why such a hurry?" he posed.
Businessman Darshan Hiranandani, who allegedly paid Moitra to raise questions in Parliament about the Adani Group, had claimed in a signed affidavit that Moitra targeted industrialist Gautam Adani to "malign and embarrass" Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
At a meeting on November 9, the ethics committee headed by Vinod Kumar Sonkar adopted its report recommending Moitra's expulsion from Lok Sabha over the "cash-for-query" allegation.
Six members of the panel, including Congress MP Preneet Kaur who had earlier been suspended from the party, voted in favour of the report. Four members belonging to opposition parties submitted dissent notes.
Bandyopadhyay also asked why was the report being tabled on a Friday, which is dedicated to Private Members' Business. "It could have been introduced on Monday... Everywhere we find there is some motivation. We can say it is absolute political vendetta," he said.
The report was earlier listed in the agenda of the lower house for December 4 but was not tabled. The revised list of business for Friday issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat has listed the Ethics Committee report as agenda item number 7.
Bandyopadhyay claimed that the government was "unable to digest Moitra's allegation against the Adani group. "They want her to be stopped." "The whole country has seen how the first meeting started and ended. This projection of the outcome and result of the meeting cannot go to the extent that one Member of Parliament is expelled," he added.
Moitra can be expelled only if the House votes in favour of the panel's recommendation.
The Winter Session of Parliament began on Monday and is scheduled to continue till December 22.
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