In a significant affidavit filed today, businessman Darshan Hiranandani made the claim that Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra had shared her parliamentary login ID with him. This act, as per Mr. Hiranandani, was carried out to create questions aimed at targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as she believed it to be the most effective approach. While Mr. Hiranandani’s affidavit does validate certain aspects of the BJP’s allegations against Ms. Moitra, it fails to address the primary accusation that she posed over 50 parliamentary questions on behalf of the Hiranandani Group to gain an edge over their business rival, the Adani Group.
According to the contents of the affidavit, the actual situation was quite the opposite. It portrays Ms. Moitra as seeking assistance to politically target PM Modi and to employ the Adani group as a means for launching a smear campaign against him.
Responding to Mr. Hiranandani’s affidavit, Ms. Moitra issued a two-page statement and presented five questions. In these, she alleged that the Prime Minister’s Office had exerted pressure on Mr. Hiranandani to sign the white paper, which was subsequently leaked to the press.
Despite this, Mr. Hiranandani’s claim has introduced a setback for Ms. Moitra, who is facing suspension from Parliament as per the BJP’s intentions. If the accusation of her sharing her parliamentary login ID is substantiated, it could be considered a breach of privilege that might lead to a suspension order.
Caught in the midst of the “cash-for-questions” controversy surrounding Ms. Moitra, Mr. Hiranandani clarified that he filed the affidavit as a direct stakeholder. The issue has now evolved into a political controversy, involving both the Parliamentary Privilege Committee and the judiciary.
The affidavit reveals that Mahua Moitra believed that targeting PM Modi required focusing on Gautam Adani, and she looked for support in this endeavor. To facilitate this, she shared her parliamentary login ID with Mr. Hiranandani to formulate the questions.
Mr. Hiranandani also claimed that Ms. Moitra garnered support from various quarters, including journalists, Opposition leaders, and former Adani Group employees who provided her with unverified information. He mentioned the involvement of Sucheta Dalal and several others in this context.
Furthermore, Mr. Hiranandani alleged that the Trinamool MP was a “dominating” and “ambitious” individual who made several demands for various favors. He acknowledged fulfilling these demands to maintain her support and their close friendship. This included gifting her expensive luxury items, supporting the renovation of her officially allocated bungalow in Delhi, covering travel expenses, and providing holidays, among other things.
Last week, BJP’s Nishikant Dubey called for the immediate suspension of Ms. Moitra, accusing her of receiving bribes to pose questions in Parliament on behalf of Darshan Hiranandani, aimed at targeting his business rival, the Adani group, and PM Modi. The Speaker subsequently referred Mr. Dubey’s complaint to Parliament’s Ethics Committee.
Following this, junior Union Minister for Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, hinted at Mr. Hiranandani’s involvement in the controversy.
While Ms. Moitra has been actively addressing BJP leaders’ allegations on social media, she has not yet responded to Mr. Hiranandani’s affidavit. In response to Mr. Dubey’s letter to the Speaker, she welcomed any inquiry and denied the IT minister’s allegations.