West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee denounced the expulsion of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra from the Lok Sabha on Friday in connection with the 'cash-for-query' case and termed the move as a 'betrayal' of India's parliamentary democracy
Moitra was expelled after the House adopted the report of its Ethics Committee that held her guilty of accepting gifts and illegal gratification from a businessman to advance his interests.
"It is a disgrace to parliamentary democracy. We condemn the expulsion of Mahua Moitra; the party stands firmly with her. Unable to defeat us in elections, the BJP has resorted to vendetta politics. Today marks a sad day and a betrayal of Indian parliamentary democracy," Banerjee said during a press conference.
The TMC chief accused the BJP of preventing Moitra from presenting her defence.
Banerjee highlighted the submission of a nearly 500-page report to Parliament, followed by a mere 30-minute window for all parties to discuss the matter and subsequently expel Moitra.
"I fail to comprehend how members can thoroughly review 500 pages within 30 minutes. How can all speakers reach a decision? I condemn the way democracy has been undermined. Despite having a two-thirds majority in the assembly, we refrain from expelling anyone arbitrarily," she remarked.
Expressing disappointment that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not intervene, Banerjee said, "This is unfortunate and unacceptable. Moitra will emerge victorious in the next battle, and the people will deliver a resounding response and justice. They will face defeat in the upcoming election; I am fully convinced of this."
Banerjee extended gratitude to the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) leaders for supporting Moitra, stating, "I commend the INDIA alliance for standing united and resisting the BJP."
The Ethics Committee report found Moitra guilty of 'unethical conduct' and contempt of the House by sharing her Lok Sabha credentials -- User ID and Password of Lok Sabha Member's Portal -- with unauthorised persons which had an irrepressible impact on national security.
Following a heated debate, during which Moitra was denied the opportunity to speak, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi proposed a motion for Moitra's expulsion for 'unethical conduct', which was subsequently approved by a voice vote.
"Nevertheless, she (Moitra) will return to Parliament with a stronger mandate. The BJP believes it can act with impunity due to its overwhelming majority. They should bear in mind that a day may come when they are no longer in power," Banerjee warned.