Vinod Sonkar, Chairman of Lok Sabha Ethics Committee, has said that he has received businessman Darshan Hiranandani's letter against Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Mahua Moitra in the cash-for-query row.
Calling the letter a "sworn affidavit", Sonkar further said that the decision to summon the TMC MP will only be made after hearing BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and Supreme Court lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai's statements on October 26, and on the basis of the evidence they provide to back the allegations against Moitra.
Moitra responded to Sonkar's statement to the media by taking to X (formerly Twitter), and sharing a document titled 'Evidence, report and proceedings treated as confidential".
"Chairman Ethics Committee openly speaks to media. Please see Lok Sabha rules below. How does “affidavit” find its way to media? Chairman should first do enquiry into how this was leaked," she wrote on the microblogging site, adding that the BJP's "1 point agenda is to expel" her from Lok Sabha to shut her up on Adani.
Earlier in the day, Sonkar had said that the Ethics panel will examine the issue as it is undoubtedly a "serious matter".
The row began after Nishikant Dubey alleged that Moitra took bribes from Hiranandani to speak in Parliament, particularly about the Adani Group - a rival of real-estate conglomerate Hiranandani Group.
The BJP MP based his claims on Dehadrai's letter, which mentioned "irrefutable" evidence of bribe exchanges between Moitra and the businessman.
Moitra, however, has repeatedly denied the allegations and blamed "fake degree MP" - hinting at Dubey, and her "jilted ex" Dehadrai for the controversy.
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