An angry Mahua Moitra staged a walkout along with other MPs from the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee on Thursday, after the panel allegedly asked her "filthy questions". Moitra had appeared before the parliamentary panel carrying three luxury bags in an apparent snub to critics who alleged her involvement in the 'cash for query' scandal. The TMC MP was seen lashing out at a journalist who allegedly asked her whether she had tears in her eyes after storming off the Ethics Panel meeting. "There are no tears in my eyes. What rubbish are you talking? Where's tears in my eyes? He's making up any rubbish.. then what you talking sh** for?", she told other reporters pointing towards that one journalist who questioned her. This incident underscores the intensity surrounding the allegations and the vigorous defense put forth by the Bengal MP.
The investment banker-turned politician was filmed carrying three luxury bags, including one from French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton.
Moitra and MPs stage walkout
Moitra was joined by Bahujan Samaj Party MP Danish Ali and other MPs staged a walkout from the ethics panel. She accused the ethics committee of asking her "filthy questions".
According to reports, the committee asked Moitra who did she talk to at night.
"The questions of the Ethics Committee were invalid, which phone was used and which hotel they stayed in are not questions that one should ask. We have said whatever we had to," Ali told News channel Republic TV.
'Undignified and unthical'
Congress MP and panel member N Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the questions asked to Moitra were "undignified and unethical."
"We found the ethics committee chairperson's questions to Moitra undignified and unethical," Uttam Kumar Reddy told reporters.
Janata Dal (United) MP Giridhari Yadav said the committee asked "personal questions" to Moitra, prompting the MPs to walkout. "They asked personal questions to the woman (Mahua Moitra). They do not have the right to ask personal questions, so we walked out," Yadav said.
Moitra pleads innocence
Pleading innocence, Moitra informed the parliamentary committee that the allegations stemmed from a personal falling out with advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai, sources told PTI.
Sources said a large part of her deposition before the ethics committee was about her relationship with Dehadrai as she appeared to blame him for leaks and the allegations.
BJP's Dubey reacts
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Nishikant Dubey said the walkout marked the "darkest day of parliamentary history".
"I and (Jai Anant) Dehadrai went there as witnesses and Mahua Moitra went as an accused. However, she went on to give interviews and quoting on what happened inside the committee of ethics. She tried to set a wrong narrative in the public. What happened today is the darkest day of parliamentary history," Dubey commented on Moitra's accusation.
Dubey had earlier filed a complaint, citing Dehadrai's submission, against Moitra with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. The speaker conseuently referred the matter to the committee.
'Committee to decide further action'
Vinod Sonkar, chairman of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committe, said the panel will decide further action in the matter. He alleged Moitra of using "unparliamentary language" for him and committee members.
"Instead of giving answers, she (Mahua Moitra) got angry and used unparliamentary language for the Chairperson, and Committee members. Danish Ali, Girdhari Yadav and other opposition MPs tried to accuse the committee and walked out... The committee will sit and decide the further action," Sonkar said.
Moitra has been accused of asking questions, which were keyed in through her parliamentary account, at the behest of businessman Darshan Hiranandani in return for bribes and favours from the Dubai-based scion of a well-known business family.
(With inputs from agencies)