Businessman Darshan Hiranandani’s explosive affidavit on his links with Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra and claims on her efforts to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi by using the Adani Group, has brought cheer to her detractors. Most of them hailed the affidavit as a victory for truth. Others named as Mahua Moitra’s allies, like journalist Sucheta Dalal, called the affidavit a “farce”.
In his affidavit, Darshan Hiranandani claimed Mahua Moitra had given him her parliament login ID to frame questions on the Adani group, which she felt was the “only way” to target Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He also claimed that Ms Moitra received support from others in this effort, including journalists, Opposition leaders and former Adani Group employees, who fed her unverified information. In this context, he named Sucheta Dalal and a few others.
The BJP’s Nishikant Dubey, who had sought Mahua Moitra’s suspension from parliament in a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, in a Hindi post on X, formerly Twitter, said, “The security of the country and the dignity of the Parliament are paramount for me. Satyamev Jayate”.
देश की सुरक्षा एवं संसद की गरिमा मेरे लिए सर्वोपरि है
— Dr Nishikant Dubey (@nishikant_dubey) October 19, 2023
“Truth always wins” was the one-liner from Jai Anant Dehadrai, who had initially contacted the Central Bureau of Investigation with allegations against the Trinamool MP.
Truth always wins! pic.twitter.com/XBpAu4oXKF
— Jai Anant Dehadrai (@jai_a_dehadrai) October 19, 2023
Sucheta Dalal, on the other hand, called it “stupefying” and claimed she does not know Mahua Moitra “personally at all”.
“This is completely stupefying — I do not know @MahuaMoitra personally at all – I may have retweeted some of her stuff. I don’t know Pallavi Shroff and I used to know #ShardulShroff long ago. I dare anyone to find any links between me and them. Requesting IT minister @Rajeev_GoI to help me get to the bottom of it @AshwiniVaishnaw also please help. This is one time the govt ought to help prevent this kind of slander by some crooks!!” read her post on X.
This is completely stupefying — I do not know @MahuaMoitra personally at all – I may have retweeted some of her stuff. I don’t know Pallavi Shroff and I used to know #ShardulShroff long ago. I dare anyone to find any links between me and them. Requesting IT minister @Rajeev_GoI… https://t.co/uwJ5JymOc3
— Sucheta Dalal (@suchetadalal) October 19, 2023
“I don’t know @MahuaMoitra – and I think she can confirm it. The question of helping her simply does not arise, NOR did she EVER reach out and ask for any help either !” read another of her posts.
Trinamool’s Majid Memon, who is also a noted advocate of the Supreme Court, pointed out that such issues should be brought to the notice of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee and not be leaked to the media. “Mr Darshan Hiranandani must remember that if he is trying to suggest that he has bribed the MP to do something that she is not supposed to do then the bribe giver is equally liable for criminal action,” he said.
He, however, made it clear that he was speaking as a lawyer and not a representative of the party.
In his affidavit, Mr Hirandani has claimed that Ms Moitra, “in her endeavour, was getting help from other people like Sucheta Dalal, Shardul Shroff, and Pallavi Shroff, who were also in touch with her, and who were feeding her with all kinds of unverified information relating to Gautam Adani and his companies”.
“She also received unverified details from several sources, including some claiming to be former Adani group employees. Certain information was shared with me, based on which I continued to draft and post questions using her parliamentary login whenever needed,” read the affidavit, accessed by NDTV.
In his letter to Om Birla, Nishikant Dubey had alleged that the Hiranandani Group had lost energy and infra contract to the Adani Group and Ms Moitra’s questions were directed at perpetuating the business interests of the former.
Mr Hiranandani has claimed that he was helping Ms Moitra in her efforts to target PM Modi through the Adani Group. While admitting that he had also granted favours to Ms Moitra, he claimed these were given on her demand.
“She made frequent demands of me and kept asking me for various favours which I had to fulfil in order to remain in close proximity of her and get her support… I could ill afford to displease her. Many a time I felt she was taking undue advantage of me and pressurising me to do things I didn’t want to but I had no choice, because of the aforementioned reasons,” his affidavit read.
The favours included gifting her expensive luxury items, “providing support for renovation of her officially allotted bungalow in Delhi, travel expenses, holidays etc,” he wrote.
Mahua Moitra shredded Mr Hiranandani’s affidavit. “Darshan Hiranandani has not been summoned by the CBI or the Ethics Committee or indeed by any investigative agency yet. Who then has he given this affidavit to,” she said in the statement posted on X, formerly Twitter.
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