TMC MP Mahua Moitra Questions Businessman Hiranandani's Affidavit's Authenticity, Says It's Written By PMO Official Working For BJP

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey has accused Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra of asking questions in the Parliament to defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi in lieu of bribes from businessman Darshan Hiranandani.

TMC MP Mahua Moitra.

After an affidavit by businessman Darshan Hiranandani claimed to have admitted asking questions about the Adani Group through the official parliamentary credentials of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra, the MP said in a statement questioned the affidavit's authenticity and said it was drafted by someone at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) who was working with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

Last week, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey alleged that Moitra had asked questions critical of the Adani Group, which the Opposition has long claimed to have unfair times with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in exchange of bribes from Hiranandani. 

A copy of Hiranandani's affidavit surfaced in media reports on Thursday in which he claimed that Moitra had shared her parliamentary sign-in credentials with him and he asked those questions related to the Adani Group. He also claimed that Moitra also sought luxury goods and money for travel and renovation at her house from him. 

After Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla received Dubey's complaint, a copy of which was shared by PTI, Birla forwarded the complaint to the Parliament's Ethics Committee. Separately, Moitra approached the Delhi High Court to restrain Dubey and others, including the media, from sharing "defamatory" content about her. The Delhi HC is set to take up the plea today.

What did Mahua Moitra say?

In a statement shared on Twitter on Friday morning, TMC MP Mahua Moitra questioned the authenticity of the affidavit of businessman Darshan Hiranandani.

Moitra said that the it was on white paper and not on any formal letterhead. She further said that it was written by someone at the PMO in league with the BJP.

Moitra also said that while the affidavit has made it to media, it has neither been shared with official channels and neither Hiranandani conducted any formal press conference. She also said that he has also not been called for probe by any agency so who he has submitted this affidavit to.

"The contents of the letter are a joke. It has clearly been drafted by some half-wit in the PMO who doubles up as a creative writer in the BJP's IT cell...The PMO held a proverbial gun to Darshan and his father's heads and gave them 20 minutes to sign this letter sent to them. They were threatened with a total shut down of all their businesses. His father is in real estate which depends on government licenses. And he is in energy, data centres and semiconductor chip manufacturing which too depends on government licenses. He has over 30,000 crore investments in UP alone. They were told they will be finished, the CBI would raid them and all government business would stop and all PSU bank financing would be stopped immediately," said Moitra in the statement.

Moitra further said that this is the usual modus operandi of this "BJP government or rather Gautam Adani's government run by the BJP" and that she would not be silenced and her questions would continue. 

Meanwhile, Moitra also termed her estranged partner Jai Dehadrai, who BJP's Dubey mentioned in his complaint, as a "jilted ex".

"Jai Dehadrai is not some "Supreme Court lawyer" who has done painstaking research on me. He is a jilted ex with an acrimonious personal history with me who wanted to somehow get back at me. If indeed he was witness to all of my corruption why was he with me during the time and why did he wait till now to make it public?" said Moitra. 

What did Hiranandani's affidavit say?

In the affidavit of businessman Hiranandani that surfaced in media reports, he claimed to have been provided questions by Moitra and, later, claimed to have questions related to the Adani Group directly after Moitra provided him his parliamentary sign-in credentials. 

Hiranandani further said that Moitra sought luxury goods and travel expenses and money for the renovation of his house from him. 

Hiranandani said in the affidavit that he asked those questions with the hope that his business interests in the Opposition-ruled states would be secured by such acts, according to a copy of the affidavit shared by media.

"Ms. Moitra drafted a few questions that would have elements to embarrass the Government by targeting the Adani group; questions that she could raise in Parliament. She shared with me her email ID as Member of Parliament, so that I could send her information, and she could raise the questions in the Parliament. I went along with her proposal...She therefore requested me to keep supporting her in her attacks on the Adani group and provided me her Parliament login and password so that I could post the questions directly on her behalf when required," said Hiranandani, as per a copy of the affidavit in media reports. 

The affidavit further said, "Over a period, my friendship with Ms Mahua Moitra grew. I also felt that, through her, I would get support in other States ruled by the Opposition...Importantly, she also made frequent demands of me and kept asking me for various favours, which I had to fulfil in order to remain in close proximity with her and get her support. The demands that were made and favours that were asked included, gifting her expensive luxury items, providing support on renovation of her officially allotted bungalow in Delhi, travel expenses, holidays, etc, apart from providing secretarial and logistical help for her travels within India and to different parts of the world."