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Discuss Moitra's expulsion report before taking any decision: Opposition members to LS Speaker Birla

Discuss Moitras expulsion report before taking any decision: Opposition members to LS Speaker Birla

New Delhi: Opposition members on Monday demanded a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the Ethics Committee report, recommending the expulsion of TMC member Mahua Moitra, before any decision was taken on the matter.

The opposition members made the demand during the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee chaired by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to finalise the agenda for the House this week.

Parliamentary sources said the report of the Ethics Committee on the expulsion of Trinamool Congress leader Moitra from the Lok Sabha was expected to be tabled in the House on Tuesday.

The report was listed for presentation in the Lok Sabha on Monday, but the agenda item was not taken up by the presiding officer, raising questions over the continuance of Moitra as a parliamentarian.

The Business Advisory Committee also decided to allot 12 hours for discussion on the three bills to replace the colonial-era criminal laws. It also decided to allocate three hours for discussion on the Chief Election Commissioner and Other Election Commissioners (Appointment, Conditions of Service and Term of Office) Bill.

The Lok Sabha's Ethics Committee, chaired by BJP member Vinod Sonkar, had adopted its report at a meeting on November 9, recommending Moitra's expulsion from the lower house over the "cash-for-query" allegation.

Six members of the panel, including Congress member Preneet Kaur who had earlier been suspended from the party, voted in favour of the report. Four members of the panel belonging to opposition parties submitted dissent notes.

The opposition members termed the report a "fixed match" and said the complaint filed by BJP Lok Sabha member Nishikant Dubey, which the panel reviewed, was not supported by a "shred of evidence".

Moitra can be expelled only if the House votes in favour of the panel's recommendation.

Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Moitra said that Trinamool leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay asked the presiding officer as to why the report of the Ethics Committee was not tabled in the Lok Sabha.

She said Congress' K Suresh and RSP's N K Premachandran also raised the same question but there was no reply.

Later, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that for reasons best known to the committee, the report has not been tabled. He said there would have been some reason which "forced them" not to table the report on Monday.

"I think today or tomorrow, someday it will be tabled," he said outside the Parliament House.

Moitra said she will comment on the report when it is tabled.

"They printed it as item number five. I don't know much about Parliament procedure, they know everything... As far as I know, if it is item number five, it should be read at least ... Let's see when they bring it," Moitra said.

The Winter Session of Parliament began on Monday and is scheduled to continue till December 22.

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