The firebrand Indian MP in ‘cash-for-query’ scandal
According to BJP lawmaker Nishikant Dubey, Mahua Moitra, an MP from the opposition Trinamool Congress party (TMC), bribed him to ask questions in parliament.
As part of an exchange for gifts and cash from a businessman, Ms Moitra allegedly asked several questions targeting the Adani Group, a business conglomerate owned by one of Asia’s richest men, Gautam Adani.
She has denied the allegations and has said that she is ready to face any inquiry. On Thursday, a parliamentary ethics committee began hearing the case.
Since the committee does not have executive powers, it cannot punish Ms Moitra even if it rules against her. The house can accept or reject its recommendation. If Ms Moitra is expelled from parliament, she can appeal the decision.
In January, Hindenburg Research – a US firm specializing in “short-selling” – published a report accusing the conglomerate of decades of “brazen” stock manipulation and accounting fraud. Adani has denied these allegations, calling the report “malicious”.
Since then, Ms Moitra and several opposition lawmakers have urged the government to investigate the allegations against the Adani Group. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is investigating the allegations against the company.