The Indian parliament Lok Sabha expelled Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on Friday after its Ethics Committee tabled its report recommending so over allegations she took money to ask questions in parliament.
Speaker Om Birla did not allow Moitra to speak. After giving members of parliament only two hours to read the 104-page report after it was tabled, a 30-minute discussion was scheduled for 3 pm today, The Wire reported. However, Moitra’s expulsion was announced within just a few minutes of debate starting, and not even the entirety of the small slot allotted was used.
Opposition MPs questioned the ethics committee for not cross examining Darshan Hiranandani and also on how parliamentarians were essentially pronouncing judgement against a fellow parliamentarian.
Stepping out of parliament, Moitra said this was a kangaroo court. “Since I was not allowed to speak inside parliament, I am taking this opportunity to speak outside it. I thank my INDIA alliance colleagues…as the hearing of the ethics committee demonstrates, all of us MPs are conveyor belts to get questions from the people to the parliament. If the Modi government hopes that by shutting me up it can forget the Adani issue, then it is mistaken.”
Moitra was accompanied by top Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party and TMC leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Danish Ali and others.
“I don’t understand how the [parliament] members will go through the 495 pages [of the report] within half an hour and how all the speakers will take a decision. I congratulate the INDIA alliance for being united, and we will fight back. In this case, Mahua is a victim of the circumstances. I strongly condemn this and the party completely stands with Mahua,” TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said, according to the news agency PTI.
The report led to stormy scenes and the adjournment of the house till 2 pm. When the house reconvened, Speaker Birla allowed a 30-minute discussion – on the report tabled barely two hours ago.