New Delhi, 2nd November 2023: Opposition parties’ MPs, including Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra and BSP MP Danish Ali, left the Parliament Ethics Committee meeting on Thursday. Moitra, summoned to testify about cash-for-query allegations, criticized the committee for asking what she termed as “filthy questions.” She expressed her dismay, stating, “Is this an ethics committee?…reading from a script.”

Moitra also rebuked a reporter, asserting, “There are no tears in my eyes…making up any rubbish…’tears in your eyes’. Have you seen my eyes? Are there tears in it?”

In response, Vinod Sonkar, the chairman of the Parliament Ethics Committee, accused Moitra of using “unparliamentary language.” He stated, “Instead of giving answers, she (Mahua Moitra) got angry and used unparliamentary language for the Chairperson, and Committee members. Danish Ali, Girdhari Yadav and other Opposition MPs tried to accuse the committee and walked out…The committee will sit and decide further action…,” Sonkar said.

The Opposition MPs who left the meeting contended that the panel posed “unethical questions” to Moitra. Congress MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy, a member of the panel, asserted, “We found the ethics committee chairperson’s questions to Moitra undignified and unethical.”

Janata Dal (United) MP Giridhari Yadav maintained that the panel lacked the authority to ask personal questions of Mahua Moitra. Moitra defended herself against the allegations, attributing them to a rift with advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai after ending their personal relationship.

BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi criticized Mahua Moitra’s behavior, deeming it “condemnable” and accused her of using “unparliamentary words” towards the members of the ethics panel. Sarangi emphasized, “The proceedings of the Parliamentary Standing Committee are confidential by nature. So the very thing that she (TMC MP Mahua Moitra) did was wrong. They all came out and they all said things about the committee, about the goings on within the committee, it was wrong. She should not have done that. These things are very confidential.”

Mahua Moitra is currently facing allegations of accepting bribes in exchange for raising questions in Parliament. Last month, BJP MP alleged that Moitra accepted bribes, backed by documents provided by Supreme Court attorney Jai Anant Dehadrai. The matter was subsequently forwarded to the ethics committee led by BJP MP Vinod Kumar Sonkar.