Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra was expelled from the Lok Sabha on Friday, December 8, 2023, for ‘unethical conduct’. An Ethics Committee report on the cash-for-query row related to the TMC MP was tabled before the Lok Sabha and the expulsion came as a response of it. Opposition members had earlier questioned the procedure followed by the panel and demanded a discussion on the report.
Moitra however contended that the Ethics panel had no power to expel legislators. She also condemned the Narendra Modi-led government for ‘shutting her into submission’ and declared it the beginning of the other party’s end. She accused the Lok Sabha ethics panel report of “breaking every rule in the book”.
“In essence, I have been found guilty of breaching a code of ethics that does not exist. The ethics panel is punishing me for practice that is routine, accepted and encouraged in Lok Sabha,” Moitra said after her expulsion. “If this Modi government thought that by shutting me up they could do away with the Adani issue, let me tell you this that this kangaroo court has only shown to all of India that the haste and the abuse of due process you have used demonstrates how important Adani is to you. And to what length you will go to harass a single woman MP into shutting her into submission…”, she said.
Legislator Was Not Allowed To Speak And Explain Her Stand
The TMC leader was not allowed to speak during the heated debate that came after the report was tabled. The motion that was moved by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi was adopted by a voice vote.
Opposition MPs had staged a walkout after Mahua’s expulsion was announced.
Politicians React To The Expulsion
Several leaders and legislators have accused the BJP-led government of “vendetta politics” and dubbed the report “inadequate”.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lambasted the Modi government on the expulsion of Lok Sabha MP and fellow TMC leader. “Today, I am sad to see the attitude of the BJP party and how they betray democracy. They did not allow Mahua to explain her stand. Full injustice has been done,” she told the media.
“It is a new black day in the new House. A new black chapter is starting today,” Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said. The Congress leader, who is also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, had earlier written to the Speaker, stressing that expulsion from the house is “an extremely serious punishment and has very wide ramifications”. He had also written to Speaker Om Birla on Friday afternoon to seek a postponement of the debate.
“We believe the report is incomplete because the deposition was not completed. Five MPs walked out and the report was adopted in two-and-a-half minutes. We want a discussion on this. The walkout by MPs was because they were asking filthy questions. It is there in the minutes (of the meeting),” said BSP MP Danish Ali, a member of the ethics panel.
“This report is a deeply inadequate document. It fails to meet the basic standards of any report that can come up with such a dramatic recommendation of expulsion. It has also been apparently adopted in two-and-a-half minutes without any serious discussion or cross-examination of those who made the accusations and no fair chance for the person who is being expelled to be heard in her own defense. For INDIA parties this is a travesty of justice,” said Shashi Tharoor.