ANI Photo | “Received affidavit from Darshan Hiranandani”: Ethics Panel Chairman on ‘Cash for Query’ scandal

Vinod Sonkar, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee of Ethics on Friday informed that he has received an affidavit from the businessman Darshan Hiranandani regarding the ‘Cash for Query’ scandal which mentions the alleged role played by TMC MP Mahua Moitra in this row.
“I have received a letter/affidavit from Darshan Hiranandani,” Ethics Panel chairman Sonkar said.
In his 3-page signed affidavit to the Ethics panel, Darshan Hiranandani had admitted to his friendship with the TMC MP Mahua Moitra and claimed that the Lok Sabha Member saw attacking the Adani group as a route to fame.
“She became Lok Sabha MP in May 2019. She was advised by her friends that the shortest route to fame was by attacking Narendra Modi. She thought that the only way to attack PM Modi was by attacking Gautam Adani and his group as they both come from Gujarat,” Hiranandani’s affidavit read.
Hiranandani had further claimed that Mahua Moitra did share her Parliament Login credentials with him.
“She knew that Indian Oil Corporation was getting into an arrangement with Dhamra LNG a joint venture of the Adani group…..She drafted few questions that she could raise in parliament that would have elements to embarrass the Govt and target the Adani group. She shared with me her email ID as MP, so I could send her information and she could raise the questions. I went along with her proposal,” the affidavit read.
Hiranandani also claims that the TMC MP also demanded favours and gifts from him.
However, Mahua Moitra has rejected the claims made in the affidavit and said that it looks as if the affidavit was drafted under pressure from the BJP.
Questioning the credibility of Darshan Hiranandani’s affidavit, TMC MP Mahua Moitra said, “The affidavit is on white paper, and not an official letterhead or notarized. Why would one of India’s most respected/educated businessmen sign a letter like this on white paper unless a gun was put on his head to do it?
Alleging that Businessman Hiranandani was “compelled” to sign the letter, Moitra said, “The PMO held a proverbial gun to Darshan and his father’s heads and gave them 20 minutes to sign this letter sent to them. They were threatened with a total shutdown of all their businesses. They were told they would be finished, the CBI would raid them and all government business would stop and all PSU bank financing would be stopped immediately.”
Meanwhile, Advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai on Friday alleged that attempts were made towards him to withdraw his complaint registered at the Central Bureau of Investigation.
According to BJP MP Nishikant Dubey’s complaint to the Parliament Ethics Committee, Advocate Dehadrai had provided him proof of TMC MP Mahua Moitra’s involvement in the alleged ‘Cash for Query’ scandal.
“An attempt was made yesterday afternoon, to coerce me into withdrawing my CBI complaint and letter to Nishikant Dubey, in exchange for Henry (his dog),” the advocate posted on X (former Twitter).
Earlier Nishikant Dubey in his letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker, titled “Re-emergence of nasty ‘Cash for Query’ in Parliament” had alleged “‘serious Breach of Privilege’, ‘Contempt of the House’ and a ‘Criminal Offence’ under Section 120A of IPC” by the Trinamool Congress MP. Dubey claimed that Advocate, Jai Anant Dehadrai had provided him with proof of alleged bribes.
In her response to this letter, the TMC MP had said that she would welcome a probe by the speaker after he dealt with the alleged breach of privilege by other BJP MPs

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