Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra has denied accepting bribes amid allegations that she received gifts from Darshan Hiranandani, the CEO of the Hiranandani Group, in exchange for raising questions in Parliament. According to Moitra, the only items she received from Hiranandani were “one scarf, some lipsticks, and other makeup items including eye shadow.” She has also refuted claims that she accepted a significant amount of cash, requesting the opportunity to conduct cross-examination to clarify the allegations.
The accusations of accepting bribes come as the Parliament’s Ethics Committee calls upon Moitra to provide her defense against the allegations. The BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and Delhi-based lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai have provided testimonies and evidence against Moitra.
Moitra explained that she allowed Hiranandani to utilize her Lok Sabha login credentials to post questions that she asserted were her own. She justified this practice, stating that she had employed a similar approach with others due to her work being based in a remote constituency and that her team consistently submitted queries on her behalf.
However, Nishikant Dubey posted guidelines outlined by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) that every parliamentarian was required to follow, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of login credentials and notifying the NIC in the event of an alternate user.
In response to the allegations, Moitra clarified the gifts she received from Hiranandani, noting that these included a scarf as a birthday gift and makeup products that were purchased for her from the duty-free store in Dubai. Additionally, she explained that she had sought architectural advice for renovating her bungalow, and the expenses were covered by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), a government body.
Moitra urged Hiranandani to come forward and place on record if there were any other gifts or transactions beyond what has been stated. She emphasized the onus is on the complainant to prove allegations, and she requested documentary evidence for any claims.
The Ethics Committee is continuing to investigate the matter, which is of significant concern due to potential violations of parliamentary privilege.