Darshan Hiranandani, the CEO of real estate-to-energy group Hiranandani, in a signed “affidavit”, said he used Rajya Sabha MP Mahua Moitra’s Parliamentary login to “directly” post questions for the BJP-led central government.
The affidavit, reportedly to the Ethics Committee of Lok Sabha, comes ahead of the hearing in the defamation case filed by Mahua Moitra against BJP MP Nishikant Dubey who had accused her of taking bribes from a business person in lieu of asking questions in Parliament as an MP. Dubey earlier this week alleged that Moitra took favours from Hiranandani to raise questions in Parliament. She responded by filing a defamation suit before the Delhi High Court against them.
In his ‘affidavit’, Darshan claimed that he used Moitra’s Parliamentary login after state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) booked capacity at the Gujarat-based conglomerate’s Dhamra LNG import facility in Odisha and not at his firm’s planned facility.
He claimed that Moitra “made frequent demands” including “expensive luxury items, providing support on renovation of her officially allotted bungalow in Delhi, travel expenses, holidays, etc, apart from providing secretarial and logistical help for her travels within India and to different parts of the world.”
Hiranandani said he met Moitra at the Bengal Global Business Summit in 2017 when she was an MLA, and since then she became a “close personal friend” over the years whom he had expected to use for getting business in states ruled by opposition parties.
“She shared with me her email ID as Member of Parliament, so that I could send her information, and she could raise the questions in Parliament. I went along with her proposal,” he said in the affidavit. She “provided me with her Parliament login and password so that I could post the questions directly on her behalf when required.”
Hiranandani claimed that Moitra knew about IOC choosing Dhamra over his company’s LNG terminal. “Based on this information, Moitra drafted a few questions to embarrass the government by targeting the Adani group; questions that she could raise in Parliament,” he said in the affidavit.
“Moitra was very ambitious and wanted to make a name for herself at the national level,” he said of her winning the Lok Sabha election from Krishnanagar in West Bengal in 2019.
“She was advised by her friends and advisors that the shortest possible route to fame is by personally attacking Modi.” However, the prime minister enjoyed “an impeccable reputation and was not giving any opportunity to anyone to attack him in policy, governance or personal conduct,” he said.
“As was her wont, she thought that the only way to attack Modi is by attacking Gautam Adani and his group as both were contemporaries and they belong to the same state of Gujarat.” She was helped by the fact that Adani had caused jealousy and had detractors among some sections of business, politics, and media.
“So, she expected support from these sections in her endeavour to malign and embarrass the Prime Minister by targeting Adani,” he said.