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Allegations against Mahua an attempt to discredit her: West Bengal minister Firhad

Allegations against Mahua an attempt to discredit her: West Bengal minister Firhad

Kolkata: The allegation of 'bribe for questions' against TMC MP Mahua Moitra was levelled in an attempt to discredit her as she is vocal in her opposition against the BJP-led government at the Centre, senior West Bengal minister Firhad Hakim claimed on Monday.

Hakim said that Moitra, the MP of Krishnanagar in Nadia district, is capable of weathering the storm, maintaining that the episode is a conspiracy to tarnish her reputation.

"I am not the party spokesperson so I can't comment on what the party is thinking. At the personal level, I believe that these are efforts to silence her, so that she doesn't raise questions against the BJP government," said Hakim, the minister of urban development and municipal affairs and also the mayor of Kolkata.

The allegations against Moitra were an effort to discredit her due to her strong opposition to the BJP government's policies, he claimed.

Hakim, considered close to CM Mamata Banerjee, made the comments in an interview to news channel ABP Ananda.

TMC spokesperson Derek O'Brien had on Sunday said that while Moitra on the advice of her party had clarified her position regarding the allegations, the leadership would wait for the report of the parliamentary panel that is looking into the matter before taking an "appropriate decision".

BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and lawyer Jai Anant Dehadrai had alleged that Moitra accepted favours from Darshan Hiranandani, the CEO of real estate-to-energy group Hiranandani, in exchange for raising questions in Parliament.

In response, Moitra filed a defamation suit against them before the Delhi High Court. Dubey's complaint has been referred to Parliament's Ethics Committee by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.

Darshan Hiranandani, who allegedly paid Moitra to raise questions in Parliament about the Adani Group, recently claimed in a signed affidavit that she targeted Gautam Adani to "malign and embarrass Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose impeccable reputation gave opposition no opportunity to attack him".

Meanwhile, the state BJP claimed that the TMC was a divided house on the issue.

"The TMC always tries to shrug off its responsibility whenever its leaders land in trouble. The party is now a divided house on this issue," BJP leader Rahul Sinha said.

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