In a startling revelation, businessman Darshan Hiranandani, in an explosive affidavit, has accused Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra of providing him her parliamentary login ID to formulate questions aimed at targeting the Adani Group, which she perceived as the most effective way to assail Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The three-page affidavit, acknowledges certain points raised by the BJP regarding Ms. Moitra’s actions but avoids addressing the primary allegation that she submitted over 50 parliamentary questions on behalf of the Hiranandani Group to undermine its business rival, the Adani Group.
While Mr. Hiranandani’s affidavit does not confirm the central charge, it suggests a different narrative, asserting that Ms. Moitra solicited assistance to politically target PM Modi and exploit the Adani Group for a smear campaign against him.
Ms. Moitra, in response to Mr. Hiranandani’s affidavit, issued a two-page statement and raised five critical questions. She alleged that the Prime Minister’s Office had coerced Mr. Hiranandani into signing a white paper that was subsequently leaked to the media.
This revelation, while not confirming the core allegation against Ms. Moitra, could be detrimental to her standing. If it is proven that she shared her parliamentary login ID with Mr. Hiranandani, it could potentially lead to a breach of privilege and subsequent suspension from parliament.
Caught in the ongoing “cash-for-questions” controversy that surrounds Ms. Moitra, Mr. Hiranandani claimed he was compelled to file the affidavit because the matter had grown into a political controversy that involved him, as well as the Parliamentary Privilege Committee and the judiciary.
According to the affidavit, Ms. Moitra believed that the most effective way to target PM Modi was by attacking Gautam Adani. Consequently, she provided her parliamentary login ID to Mr. Hiranandani, allowing him to formulate the questions. Mr. Hiranandani supported this endeavor in the hope of gaining the support of Opposition-ruled states through Ms. Moitra’s connections.
Furthermore, Mr. Hiranandani claimed that Ms. Moitra received support from various quarters, including journalists, Opposition leaders, and former Adani Group employees, who supplied her with unverified information. Sucheta Dalal, mentioned in this context, has denied these allegations.
The affidavit also portrays Ms. Moitra as a “dominating” and “ambitious” figure who made multiple demands for various favors, which Mr. Hiranandani accommodated to maintain her support and their close friendship. These demands included lavish gifts, support for renovating her officially allotted bungalow in Delhi, travel expenses, and more. Mr. Hiranandani stated that he often felt coerced into actions he did not wish to take due to these circumstances.
The BJP’s Nishikant Dubey had previously called for Ms. Moitra’s immediate suspension, alleging that she had received bribes to pose questions in parliament on behalf of Darshan Hiranandani, aiming to target the Adani group and PM Modi. Mr. Dubey’s complaint has been forwarded to parliament’s Ethics Committee.
This unfolding controversy has led to further scrutiny, with allegations of undue influence and misuse of parliamentary questions.