Trinamool MP Mahua Moitra, at the centre of “cash-for-questions” controversy, took on Gautam Adani to embarrass Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was assisted by others, including Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, in this “targeted attack”, claims businessman Darshan Hiranandani.
Mr Hiranandani, in a signed affidavit, admitted using Ms Moitra’s Parliamentary login to ask questions targeting the Adani Group.
On Sunday, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and Ms Moitra’s former partner and lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai alleged that the Trinamool leader took favours from Darshan Hiranandani to raise questions in parliament. The leader has filed a defamation suit before the Delhi High Court against them.
“Ms Mahua Moitra was very ambitious and wanted to quickly make a name for herself at the national level. She was advised by her friends and advisors that the shortest possible route to fame is by personally attacking Narendra Modi,” said Darshan Hirandani, the CEO of real estate-to-energy group Hiranandani.
The complaint by the BJP MP has been referred by the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to Parliament’s Ethics Committee.
Ms Moitra has denied the allegations and said she is prepared for any inquiry.
“Clearly, there were others who were also assisting her in this targeted attack. She had interactions with many Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, on matters relating to Adani companies,” said Mr Hiranandani, adding that he found the Trinamool leader “knowledgeable, expressive and outspoken”.
Detailing their first encounter, the businessman said they met in 2017 at the Bengal Global Business Summit 2017. At the time, Ms Moitra was an MLA and designated to engage with visiting industrialists at the summit.
Mr Hiranandani admitted using Ms Moitra’s Parliamentary login to ask questions targeting the Adani Group.
“We have always been in the business of business and not in the business of politics. Our group has always worked with the government in the interest of the nation and will continue doing so,” a Hiranandani spokesperson said when the controversy first broke.
The Hiranandani Group lost energy and infra contracts to Adani Group and Ms Moitra’s questions were directed at perpetuating the Hiranandani Group’s interests, Mr Dubey indicated in the letter to the Speaker.
The Adani Group has said the allegations against Ms Moitra prove that some groups and individuals have been “working overtime” to harm its “name, goodwill and market standing”.
(Disclaimer: New Delhi Television is a subsidiary of AMG Media Networks Limited, an Adani Group Company.)