On Friday, opposition leaders and members of parliament jumped to the defense of Mahua Moitra, the leader of the Trinamool Congress, accusing the government of plotting to remove opposition politicians from Parliament and acting before even hearing her side of the story.
A number of leaders denounced the Ethics Committee report as “erroneous” and accused the ruling BJP of targeting the opposition with the “brute majority.”
Shashi Tharoor, a Congress MP, claimed that the report was “incredibly inadequate” and that the panel had not followed the correct protocol. There was no attempt to question the accusers directly, and he called it “truly disgraceful” that such a significant punishment as the expulsion of an MP was decided upon without much thought.
He emphasized that all I.N.D.I.A. parties are “completely convinced” that Mahua’s expulsion is a “travesty of justice” and that it will create a “very undesirable precedent” going forward. “All of this suggests to us a political vendetta and not a judicially sustainable process. It is most unfortunate that Parliament is being reduced to such a performance of political vendetta,” he added.
Danish Ali, a BSP MP, expressed disapproval of the panel report’s recommendation for her expulsion in a dissent note, stating that it demonstrated that an overwhelming majority does not imply that MPs from opposing parties will be removed.
Priyanka Kakkar, an AAP spokesperson, described the expulsion of Mahua as a “conspiracy by the BJP” and described it as “extremely unfortunate” that BJP MP Brij Bhushan, who is accused of sexually abusing women wrestlers, remains in the Parliament.
“The way this is done is undemocratic. The allegations against her have not been proven yet. This is a part of a conspiracy to silence the Opposition,” JMM MP Mahua Majhi stated.
Congress Lok Sabha Whip Manickam Tagore stated his view, “You are seeing a new Parliament and new set of rules. Whoever speaks against Adani, they will be silenced, Mahua Moitra is a perfect example of this. She was not allowed to speak at all in Parliament. This is a planned political conspiracy. Democracy failed today and it is a black day for democracy.”
“It is an unfortunate event. The House has relied on a very erroneous report, a report which has no legal basis, and a report which has violated every principle of natural justice and has violated the procedure of evidence,” Congress MP Karti Chidambaran averred.