Vinod Sonkar, Chairman of the Ethics Committee of Parliament, has said that he is yet to receive businessman Darshan Hiranandani's letter against Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra in the cash-for-query row.
Sonkar said that the committee will examine the evidence as it is undoubtedly a "serious matter". "The committee will examine the issue, and has asked the parties to submit evidence to the committee.
In his affidavit that he submitted to the Ethics Panel on Thursday, Hiranandani alleged that Moitra had shared her Parliamentary login ID and password so that he could "post questions on her behalf".
The development came in the ongoing cash-for-query row that started with BJP MP Nishikant Dubey claiming Moitra took "bribes" to ask questions in Parliament.
In his letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Dubey cited Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai's, believed to be Moitra's estranged partner, letter to allege that the latter had "irrefutable" evidence that bribes were exchanged between Moitra and Hiranandani.
Moitra, however, hit back at Hiranandani by questioning the legitimacy of the businessman's affidavit. In a two-page statement released on X (formerly Twitter), the TMC MP said that the affidavit is on "white paper and not on an official letterhead nor notarized", adding that its contents are a "joke".
She also claimed Hiranandani was "forced" to sign the affidavit and that it had been drafted by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in a bid to target her.
Dehadrai meanwhile had claimed that Moitra took bribes from Hiranandani to specifically ask questions about Adani Group, a rival of real-estate conglomerate Hiranandani Group, during House proceedings. Earlier, however, Hiranandai Group had denied these allegations, saying it was not engaged with "business of politics" and that it has always worked with the government in the "interest of people".
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