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Mahua’s expulsion is a symptom of India drifting towards a ‘Deep State’

Syed Ali Mujtaba

Finally, Mahua Moitra, the TMC MP is expelled from the Lok Sabha. This was on the expected lines. One pity is the BJP government’s arrogance in taking such an action, when this Parliament is not left with even one or half session more.

The damage that the BJP has done to itself is much higher than Ms. Moitra, and it may have got solace in reducing the Parliament into a Kangaroo court. What the BJP has done with its 303 MP was not even imagined by the Congress party under Rajiv Gandhi which got 404 seats in Parliament in 1984, making the Parliament a Kangaroo court.

The whole process of Mahua Moitra’s expulsion from allegations to an inquiry by the Ethics committee is marred with absolute disregard for Parliamentary norms and the ethical course of natural justice.

The complaint against Mahua Moitra is based on a flimsy complaint by Nishikant Dubey, a BJP MP from Godda, Jharkhand who is himself a habitual offender.  The complaint is based on a dubious ‘affidavit’ signed by Darshan Hiranandani, the Dubai-based CEO of the Hiranandani group. Darshan Hiranandani is reported to have confessed to giving alleged favors to Mahua Moitra who in turn gave access to her Lok Sabha login ID and password for submission of questions.

The affidavit followed an initial denial issued by the Hiranandani group in response to Dubey’s allegations. However, the Lok Sabha Speaker promptly forwarded Dubey’s complaint to the Ethics Committee.

It appears that the Ethics Committee was waiting to buy Dubey’s allegation at its face value and refused to cross-examine Darshan Hiranandani in person or verify the facts in the affidavit.

The committee also refused to give a fair hearing to Mahua Moitra to hear her side of the story. The committees approved the draft report without any deliberation and expelled Mahua Moitra from Lok Sabha, like a ‘‘Kafkaesque’’ trial, barring the TMC MP from the Parliament for the remaining sessions.

This BJP government’s action points towards the fact that BJP had already set the ‘mandate’ of the Ethics Committee to find Mahua Moitra guilty and move towards her expulsion to protect Modi and his corporate cronies. It also points towards the fact that the BJP can go to any extent to delegitimize a person who may question the Modi-Adani nexus.

The crime of Mahua Moitra was that through asking questions in Parliament she wanted to expose the Modi- Adani nexuses. She wanted to expose how corrupt politicians and crony capitals have joined hands to destroy the country in the name of Hindu nationalism. Moitra also wanted to expose how corporates thrive through the political backing in the country.

Mahua Moitra who is known for her powerful speeches in Parliament exposing the Modi-Adani nexus, witnessed BJP members harassing her and doing character assassination for her daring remarks made against the government. She also had to hear derogatory and misogynistic remarks for her daredevil acts in Parliament.

While the BJP wasted no time in ensuring the expulsion of the TMC MP, it took no action against Ramesh Bidhuri a BJP MP who gave hate-filled and communal threats to BSP MP Danish Ali inside the Parliament. Bidhuri the BJP MP now walks free without any repercussions for defying Section 153A- promoting enmity between different sections of the society, Ms Moitra faces expulsion from the Parliament for speaking truth.

Mahua’s expulsion adds to the long list of the BJP’s vendettas against opposition members of the Parliament.  Rahul Gandhi was dismissed from the Lok Sabha for the same reasons. Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Singh, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case. Now Mahua Moitra is expelled from the Parliament all because the BJP cannot tolerate voices of dissent against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, is the action taken by the BJP against the TMC MP is a calculated risk or a miscalculated action, that cannot be answered in black and white? However, the fact remains that Indians are living in an elected autocracy where symptoms of ‘Deep State’ are emerging loud and clear.

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