“Mahua Moitra’s Lok Sabha Expulsion Being Planned, But…”: Mamata Banerjee


Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has broken her long silence on the controversy surrounding Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra’s looming expulsion from the Lok Sabha.

“Mahua Moitra’s expulsion from Lok Sabha is being planned… but this will help her before (the 2024 general) election,” Ms Banerjee said Thursday at an event in Kolkata, as she attacked the ruling BJP over the use of central investigative agencies to target rival leaders.

“Central agencies targetting opposition leaders at present will go after BJP, following the 2024 election,” she said, “This government at the centre is there for three more months.”

Prior to this short, but significant message, of support, Ms Banerjee had refused to discuss the furore surrounding Ms Moitra, who is accused of taking bribes from businessman Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions targeting the Narendra Modi government in Parliament.

Previously, the only senior Trinamool leader to publicly discuss Mahua Moitra was Abhishek Banerjee, the party’s National General Secretary, and that was only a brief reference.

On November 9 Mr Banerjee called Ms Moitra a “victim of politics”.

“(From) what I read of the Ethics Committee report, they have said an investigation should happen against her. (But) if you do not have anything against Mahua (Moitra) and it is the subject of investigation, why has an expulsion been recommended?” Mr Banerjee asked.

“I feel Mahua (Moitra) is competent enought to fight her battles on her own. They (the BJP) have been victimising me for four years too… it is their standard practice,” he declared.

And before that Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien simply said the party would take an appropriate decision after the ethics panel inquiry concludes.

That inquiry finished earlier this month – following a stormy hearing in which Ms Moitra accused the committee of asking “filthy” questions while recording her statement.

In its report, now before Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, the committee recommended Ms Moitra be expelled from Parliament when it holds the Winter Session next month. The committee said it found her actions “highly objectionable, unethical, heinous and criminal”.

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