The voice vote took place amid chaos in the House.
Amid tumultuous scenes, the Lok Sabha on Friday expelled Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra over cash-for-query allegations. The decision, facilitated by a voice vote, was taken amid protests and chaos in the House.
The motion for Moitra’s expulsion was introduced by Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi, based on the Ethics Committee’s findings. The panel accused her of misusing her credentials, accepting gifts, and of favours for a businessman. As the vote proceeded, opposition members exited the House in protest.
The committee’s initial report was presented by chairman Vinod Kumar Sonkar after the House resumed post an adjournment during Question Hour. Trinamool Congress and some Congress members rallied in the well of the House, vociferously demanding access to the report.
Trinamool Congress had earlier sought a minimum of 48 hours to review the Ethics Committee's report, as expressed by MP Kalyan Banerjee. Despite this request, the resolution was brought forward for discussion post-lunch.
The Opposition criticised the report as a politically motivated attack and a “fixed match”, arguing that the complaint by BJP MP Nishikant Dubey lacked substantial evidence.
Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay slammed the recommendation as a politically driven vendetta. He asserted that the move was designed to silence Moitra’s criticism of the Adani Group. Bandyopadhyay questioned the haste and timing of the report, and stressed the need for Moitra to defend herself on the House floor.
Bandyopadhyay asked why the MP who alleged that Moitra was paid cash for asking questions was not called to the Ethics Committee meeting. “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?” he posed. He also asked why the report was tabled on a day that is dedicated to private members’ business. “It could have been introduced on Monday... Everywhere we find there is some motivation. We can say it is absolute political vendetta.”
Businessman Darshan Hiranandani had claimed in an affidavit that Moitra’s actions in Parliament, particularly her questions about the Adani Group, were intended to discredit Prime Minister Narendra Modi by targeting industrialist Gautam Adani.
The committee had adopted its report on November 9, with six MPs, including suspended Congress member Preneet Kaur, voting in favour and four opposition MPs filing dissent notes.
TMC MP Nusrat Jahan said Moitra must be given a chance to speak her mind in the House as she is the most affected.