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Lok Sabha Expels TMC MP Mahua Moitra In 'Cash-For-Query' Case, Accepts Recommendation Of Ethics Committee

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla disallowed Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra from speaking in response to the Ethics Committee's report. Six of the committee's 10 members had recommended her expulsion from the house.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra has been expelled by the Lok Sabha
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The Lok Sabha on Friday expelled Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra after accepting the recommendations of the Ethics Committee report on the 'cash-for-query's scam.

Earlier in the discussion on the report, Speaker Om Birla rejected the TMC's request for Moitra to respond to the report. He disallowed her from speaking in response to the report by saying that she had time to speak during the committee's hearings.

When the Lok Sabha convened at 2 pm, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi moved the motion for discussion on the report that was tabled in the house earlier in the day. After the discussion began, Birla said that if some strict decisions have to be taken against any member, they have to be taken to uphold the dignity of the Lok Sabha. 

Moitra is accused of asking questions in the Lok Sabha after taking bribes from a businessman. The ethics panel began the probe after the issue was raised by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey. Six of the 10 members of the ethics recommended Moitra's expulsion in the case.

In a letter to Birla, TMC had sought a hard copy of the report and has sought at least 48 to study the report, said TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee to PTI.  He also said the TMC has asked for 48 hours "so that we can get sufficient time to read the report". Separately, Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury demanded that three to four days should be given to MPs to study the nearly 500-page report of the ethics committee. 

Earlier in the day, the TMC called the report "political vendetta" and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor dubbed the report "inadequate" and said due procedures were not followed. He further said that the 26-party INDIA coalition agrees it is a "travesty of justice" that would set an "undesirable" precedent.  

TMC floor leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay raised a series of questions at the report, according to PTI. 

"The first meeting (of the ethics panel) ended in a short time and could not produce any result. Why was a second meeting not held? Why such a hurry?...The whole country has seen how the first meeting started and ended. This projection of the outcome and result of the meeting cannot go to the extent that one Member of Parliament is expelled," said Bandyopadhyay.

Bandyopadhyay further asked why the MP who alleged that Moitra was paid cash for asking questions not called for the meeting.

Earlier, the Opposition termed the report a "fixed match" and said the complaint filed by Dubey was not supported by a "shred of evidence".

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