Several Opposition MPs expressed surprise as the report of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee recommending the expulsion of Trinamul Congress MP Mahua Moitra in a "cash-for-query" case was not tabled in the House though it was listed on Monday's agenda.
The report was listed for presentation after the Question Hour. But it was not tabled till around 1 pm when the House adjourned for lunch.
As soon as the House reassembled at 12 noon after an adjournment, ministers laid papers and the three reports on bills seeking to replace criminal laws were presented. But Kirit Solanki, who was presiding the proceedings, skipped mentioning the report which was listed as item number five in Monday's list of business.
Later, Moitra told reporters that TMC leader Sudip Bandyopadhyaya asked the Chair in the House as to why the item was not taken up. She said the Congress' K Suresh and the RSP's N K Premchandran also raised the same question but there was no reply.
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said later that for reasons best known to the committee, the report has not been tabled. He said there would have been some reason which "forced them" not to table the report on Monday.
"I think today or tomorrow, someday it will be tabled," he said outside the Parliament House.
Moitra said she will comment on the report when it is tabled.
"They printed it as item number five. I don't know much about Parliament procedure, they know everything... As far as I know, if it is item no five, it should be read at least ... Let's see when they bring it," she said.
According to the agenda paper for Monday, Ethics Committee chairperson Vinod Kumar Sonkar was to lay on the table of the House the panel's first report. The committee, at a meeting on November 9, adopted its report recommending Moitra's expulsion from the 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 of the panel belonging to Opposition parties submitted dissent notes.
The Opposition members termed the report a "fixed match" and said the complaint filed by BJP Lok Sabha member Nishikant Dubey, which the panel reviewed, was not supported by a "shred of evidence".
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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