Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra has vehemently objected to the “cash-for-query” allegations against her, saying today that junior IT minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s comments were an “insult” to her intelligence. The questions she asked as a member of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Data Protection were valid for all Indians.
“If hostile nations can steal data from apps — can’t they steal India user data stored overseas? Don’t insult my intelligence by alleging I’m fronting others,” she posted on X, formerly Twitter.
Sir, am member of IT Comm & JPC on Data Protection. This is valid question for all Indians. If hostile nation can steal data from apps – can’t they steal India user data stored overseas? Don’t insult my intelligence by alleging I’m fronting others. Something Ruia bag men do.
— Mahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) October 16, 2023
Ms Moitra has been accused of taking bribes from businessman Darshan Hiranandani to ask questions on his behalf in parliament and target his competitor Adani Group and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Yesterday, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey wrote to Speaker Om Birla, accusing Ms Moitra of breach of parliamentary privilege, contempt of House and criminal conspiracy.
Today junior Union minister for Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar weighed in on the controversy, citing questions Ms Moitra asked on the subject of data protection, on which he had received queries from the Hiranandani Group as well.
“I hv learnt from news reports that this Parliamentary Question was likely asked by a MP at the behest of a Data center company. If true this is indeed shocking and shameful,” the minister posted on X.
“It is true that this company was actively and aggressively lobbying for Data Localization. Language used in PQ is very similar (linking need for data localization to data breaches) to that used whn the head of this company met me. I am not aware or privy to the full facts or background on this – but if it is true then its a terrible travesty and misuse of PQs,” his post read.
Ms Moitra had rebutted Mr Dubey’s allegations yesterday as well.
“Multiple breach of privileges pending against fake degreewala & other @BJP4India luminaries. Welcome any motions against me right after Speaker finishes dealing with those,” she had posted on X yesterday.
Another post was directed at Mr Dubey as well.
“Am using all my ill gotten cash & gifts to buy a college/ university in which Degree Dubey can finally buy a real degree.Please @ombirlakota @loksabhaspeaker finish the enquiries against him for false affidavits & then set up my enquiry committee,” her post read.
Regarding Mr Dubey’s allegation that she shared her Lok Sabha id with Darshan Hiranandani to post questions, she wrote tagging IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, “All parliamentary work of MPs done by PAs, assistants, interns, large teams. Respected @ashwinivaishnaw please release details of location & login details of ALL MPs with CDRs . Please release info on training given to staff to login”.
The Adani Group today said it is clear that some groups and individuals have been “working overtime” to harm the conglomerate’s “name, goodwill and market standing” as proven by allegations against Mahua Moitra.
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