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BSP Leader Alleges ‘Procedural Errors’ In Voting To Expel Mahua Moitra From Parliament

Soon after the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee narrowly decided to recommend Mahua Moitra, the MP for Trinamool, be expelled from Parliament due to charges of corruption, legislator Danish Ali of the Bahujan Samaj Party called attention to what he called “procedural errors” throughout the entire process.

Vinod Kumar Sonkar, the BJP MP who chairs the committee, responded quickly, telling news agency ANI that although protocol had been followed, “there were some people who wanted to obstruct the probe”.

Ramesh Bidhuri of the BJP made derogatory remarks about Mr. Ali’s race in Parliament in September. He said that there was not much discussion on a 500-page report that was missing important facts from the first day of the hearing.

“Today we (opposition MPs on the Committee) have raised questions on procedure. We have raised such questions from Day 1. Chairman was 15 minutes late and in 2.5 minutes meeting was over.”

“Such a big report but there was no discussion. And what was not in the report (details from the committee’s first sitting, which recorded statements from Ms Moitra and her accusers) – the two hours in which questions were raised by the opposition,” a clearly upset Mr Ali told news agency.

Mr Ali claimed the committee head, Mr Sonkar, put the report to a quick vote and left.

Asked to reply, Mr Sonkar said: “There were some people who wanted to obstruct the probe… but the report was adopted by a majority. Danish Ali, who tried to obstruct, submitted his dissent note.”

Six MPs voted in favor of the report, including the widow of former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and suspended Congress MP Preneet Kaur. Dissent notes were filed by those opposing; sources informed ANI that a recurring grievance in these was that the investigation was unjust.

As per the sources, a “free-and-fair inquiry in all respects” ought to have been ensured by calling Darshan Hiranandani, the businessman who is suspected of giving bribes to Ms. Moitra.

Alongside this, Mr. Ali attacked some committee members—names withheld—alleging that Ms. Moitra was subjected to “filthy questions” throughout the recording of her account.

According to the opposition MPs, Mr. Sonkar constantly questioned Mahua Moitra about personal matters.

The BJP leader rubbished those charges and insisted that Ms Moitra had not co-operated.

“Mahua Moitra did not cooperate with the committee and the investigation. Opposition members also made allegations in anger and walked out… objectionable words used against me,” he said.

Additionally, Mr. Ali compared the expeditiousness of the proceedings in this matter to the seeming inaction in the Privilege Committee hearing about Mr. Bidhuri, the BJP leader who denigrated him using racial epithets.

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