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Moitra, Dubey in war of words ahead of LS ethics panel meet

Source: PTI
November 07, 2023 17:28 IST
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Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra on Tuesday claimed that the meeting of the ethics committee of the Lok Sabha was postponed to keep a Congress member away from the proceedings and adopt the report by a majority, prompting a sharp retort from Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey.

IMAGE: Nishikant Dubey and Mahua Moitra. Photograph: ANI on X

The Lok Sabha ethics committee, chaired by BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar, was scheduled to meet on Tuesday to consider and adopt its draft report on the cash-for-query allegations against Moitra. The meeting has now been postponed to November 9.

Keeping up the attack, Moitra claimed that no draft report of the committee was circulated to the members and that the BJP leaders were reaching out to allies to ensure their attendance to adopt the report by majority.


Dubey, whose complaint against Moitra to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla led to the ethics committee proceedings, took a dig at the Trinamool Congress MP contending that it was her guilty conscience that was leading her to worry about the proceedings of the parliamentary panel.

Moitra posted on X, "No draft report circulated as is the norm but will be 'adopted' on Nov 9. Meeting postponed to clash with INC MP's nomination date so he can't come. BJP calling allies to ensure attendance to adopt via majority. Chartered flight to fly in MP state president. How scared Adani & Modi are."

Congress Lok Sabha member Uttam Kumar Reddy, a member of the ethics committee, is contesting the upcoming Telangana assembly elections.

"What is there to fear about who will attend the ethics committee? Or whether the paper was circulated? What is in the report? Does this reflect fear or should we say that guilt conscience pricks the mind? One should be patient," Dubey said on X.

Opposition members are expected to submit dissent notes to the committee.

Congress sources said its members N Uttam Kumar Reddy and V Vaithilingam will submit dissent notes. BSP member Kunwar Danish Ali is also set to submit his dissent note.

The 15-member committee has seven members from the BJP, three from the Congress, and one each from BSP, Shiv Sena, YSRCP, CPI-M and JD-U.

The BJP members are in a majority in the 15-member committee which is likely to take a grim view of the charges against Moitra, more so after she accused Sonkar of asking filthy and personal questions to her in the last meeting before walking out in a rage along with opposition members.

There are indications the committee may make a recommendation against her in its report to Speaker Om Birla amid a possibility of dissent notes from opposition members.

All five opposition members who attended the November 2 meeting walked out of the proceedings, alleging that Sonkar asked personal and indecent questions to her regarding her travels, hotel stay and telephone calls.

She later alleged that she was subjected to a "proverbial vastraharan" in the meeting.

The committee chairperson dismissed opposition members' claims as a case of unethical conduct aimed at shielding her.

The decision of Moitra, who appeared before the panel as a subject of enquiry and thus lacked the privileges bestowed on its members, to walk out of the meeting is likely to be taken up critically by the committee in its report.

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