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In 6:4 Split Verdict, Ethics Panel Recommends Expulsion Of Mahua Moitra From Lok Sabha

The Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha, which is probing the 'cash-for-query' charges by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey against TMC MP Mahua Moitra, has recommended her expulsion from the 17th Lok Sabha in its draft report that is likely to be adopted today.

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Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra
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The Lok Sabha Ethics Committee suggested ousting TMC MP Mahua Moitra over the "cash-for-query" issue. Headed by BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar, the committee approved the expulsion report, with six members in favor and four against. The next step involves forwarding the report to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla for further consideration. Post-meeting, four opposition members criticized the recommendation, deeming it "prejudiced" and "incorrect."

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 allegations against Moitra. The meeting was then postponed to November 9. 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 JDU.

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SP MP Danish Ali accused BJP members and Ethics Committee chairman Vinod Kumar Sonkar on Thursday of disclosing panel procedures against protocol. Speaking to media en route to the committee meeting to approve a report against Moitra over the cash-for-query accusation, Ali claimed that Sonkar and BJP panel members had broken the norms by disclosing specifics of the proceedings.

Dubey has accused Moitra of asking questions in the Lok Sabha to target the Adani Group at the behest of businessman Darshan Hiranandani in exchange for bribes. The committee in its 500-page draft report, called Moitra's actions as "highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal" and demanded "strict punishment". 

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The draft report is also learnt to have recommended the government to look into the money trail between Mahua Moitra and Darshan Hiranandani, according to a report by India Today. Opposition members are expected to submit dissent notes to the committee. All five opposition members who attended the November 2 meeting, along with Moitra, walked out of the proceedings in rage, alleging that Sonkar asked personal and indecent questions to her regarding her travels, hotel stay and telephone calls.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey claimed on Wednesday that the Lokpal has ordered a CBI probe against Mahua Moitra for alleged corruption, even as there was no official confirmation from the anti-corruption body. "On my complaint, Lokpal today ordered a CBI inquiry against accused Mahua Moitra for indulging in corruption at the cost of national security," Dubey said in a post on X. 

In an apparent response to Dubey, Moitra posted on X, "For the media calling me- my answer: 1.CBI needs to first file FIR on Rs 13,000 crore Adani coal scam. 2. National security issue is how dodgy FPI-owned (inc Chinese & UAE ) Adani firms buying Indian ports & airports with the Home Minister office's clearance. Then CBI welcome to come, count my shoes."  

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