Darshan Hiranandani, the CEO of real estate-to-energy group Hiranandani, who has been at the centre of the ‘cash for questions’ scandal involving Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra has turned approver. He admitted that he used the Rajya Sabha MP’s Parliamentary login to ask questions from the BJP-led central government.
Darshan’s statement comes after BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and Moitra’s estranged partner and lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai earlier this week alleged that Moitra took favours from Hiranandani to raise questions in Parliament. She responded by filing a defamation suit before the Delhi High Court against them.
In a signed affidavit, Darshan claimed that he used Moitra’s Parliamentary login after state-owned behemoth Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) booked capacity at the Gujarat-based conglomerate’s Dhamra LNG import facility in Odisha and not at his firm’s planned facility.
He claimed Moitra “made frequent demands” including “expensive luxury items, providing support on renovation of her officially allotted bungalow in Delhi, travel expenses, holidays, etc, apart from providing secretarial and logistical help for her travels within India and to different parts of the world.”
What Darshan Hiranandani said?
He said that he met Moitra at the Bengal Global Business Summit in 2017 when she was a MLA, and since then she became a “close personal friend” over the years whom he had expected to use for getting business in states ruled by opposition parties.
“She shared with me her email ID as Member of Parliament, so that I could send her information, and she could raise the questions in the Parliament. I went along with her proposal,” he said in the affidavit. She “provided me with her Parliament login and password so that I could post the questions directly on her behalf when required.”
Hiranandani claimed that Moitra knew about IOC choosing Dhamra over his company’s LNG terminal. “Based on this information, Moitra drafted a few questions that would have elements to embarrass the government by targeting the Adani group; questions that she could raise in Parliament,” he said.
“Moitra was very ambitious and wanted to make a name for herself at the national level,” he said of her winning the Lok Sabha election from Krishnanagar in West Bengal in 2019.
“She was advised by her friends and advisors that the shortest possible route to fame is by personally attacking Modi.” However, the prime minister enjoyed “an impeccable reputation and was not giving any opportunity to anyone to attack him in policy, governance or personal conduct,” he said.
“As was her wont, she thought that the only way to attack Modi is by attacking Gautam Adani and his group as both were contemporaries and they belong to the same state of Gujarat.” She was helped by the fact that Adani had caused jealousy and had detractors among some sections of business, politics, and media.
“So, she expected support from these sections in her endeavour to malign and embarrass the Prime Minister by targeting Adani,” he said.
Darshan also claimed the TMC leader sought various favours from him. “Many a times I felt that she was taking undue advantage of me and pressurising me to do things I didn’t want to, but I had no choice, because of the aforementioned reasons,” he stated.
Parliamentary committee asked complainants to furnish evidences
The Parliamentary committee Wednesday summoned Bharatiya Janata Party MP Nishikant Dubey and Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai to provide “oral evidence” in the former’s ‘cash for query’ complaint against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra on October 26.
“Oral evidence of Dr. Nishikant Dubey, MP, in respect of complaint dated 15 October, 2023 given by him against Smt. Mahua Moitra, MP for alleged direct involvement in cash for query in Parliament,” the subject of the Lok Sabha secretariat communication to Dubey reads.
“I am directed to state that the Committee on Ethics has decided to hear you in the above matter, in person, on Thursday, 26 October, 2023…,” said the letter sent by a secretariat official.
The committee is looking into Dubey’s allegation that Moitra took “bribes” from a businessman to ask questions in Parliament to target the Adani group, a charge that the latter has rejected. The summons came after Dubey wrote to the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, asking him to constitute an “inquiry committee” to look into the charges against her and sought Moitra’s suspension from the House till the panel submitted its report.
Jai Anant claimed that Mahua kidnapped his Dog
Jai Anant who filed #CashForQueryScam complaint with CBI against Mahua Moitra, claimed that the MP has kidnapped his pet Henry to harass him. Besides emotional appeal, Jai has produced docs to claim his rightful ownership over Henry, in his complaint to Delhi Comm.
Game Over for Mahua Moitra
It is indeed a Game Over for Mahua Moitra, as she has been entrapped in this case. It is very much possible that she will be asked to resign by the Trinamool Congress, and she is all set to loose her Parliamentary status very soon.
The allegations against her are very serious in nature, and if evidences and statements are to be believed, then she is all set to face a tough legal action for her acts.