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‘Cash for query’ row: CBI initiates enquiry against Mahua Moitra, TMC MP cites Lokpal rulebook

Kolkata: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has initiated an enquiry against Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra to probe allegations of “bribe for query” for raising questions in Parliament.

According to sources in the CBI, an enquiry was initiated to look into the allegation after the matter was sent to them by Lokpal.

The CBI’s Anti-Corruption Branch at this primary stage of investigation can only seek information. If at any stage of the enquiry, the CBI feels it has enough evidence, it can file an FIR and begin investigation. But since this enquiry has been initiated by the Lokpal, the CBI would have to file a report before the anti-graft body.

Speaking to ThePrint, Moitra highlighted the Lokpal rules. “Unless the Lokpal uploads the complaint on its website, how can any enquiry be conducted? The rules were framed during the UPA regime, and I know it by heart. CBI sources are as good as Nishikant Dubey,” she said.

The firebrand TMC MP is facing allegations of sharing her Parliament login ID and password with businessman Darshan Hiranandani to pose questions in the Lok Sabha against industrialist Gautam Adani.

BJP MP Nishikant Dubey told ThePrint that he had filed a complaint with the Lokpal as an ordinary citizen of the country concerned about its security. “I have also got to know that the CBI has begun its initial enquiry. I have faith in the Lokpal and am satisfied that he took cognizance of my complaint. Now what the investigation reveals is between the CBI and under the Lokpal’s purview.”

Moitra is currently facing questioning by the Ethics Committee of Parliament in the ongoing cash-for-query row.

On 9 November, the parliamentary ethics panel on 9 November had recommended Moitra’s suspension in a 6:4 split verdict. The Lok Sabha Speaker is yet to act upon the ethics panel findings. Earlier, Moitra and opposition members had walked out from the Parliament Ethics Committee meeting over “filthy questions”.

But amidst the controversy, Mahua has found strong support within her party from none other than TMC chief and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee herself. On Thursday, while addressing party workers in Kolkata, Mamata said that the BJP’s move to expel Mahua has made her even more popular and even if she is expelled, she will continue to take on the BJP outside Parliament.

(Edited by Tony Rai)

Also Read: Bengal govt at sea over Tajpur port? Adani awaits official word even as Mamata announces new tender

Source: The Print

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