Mahua Moitra

Mahua Moitra (born 12 October 1974) is an Indian politician and former investment banker.

She won the 2019 Indian general election as an All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) party candidate from Krishnanagar and served as a Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from 2019 to 2023.

Mahua Moitra
Mahua Moitra
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
23 May 2019 – 8 December 2023
Preceded byTapas Paul
ConstituencyKrishnanagar
Member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly
In office
28 May 2016 – 23 May 2019
Preceded bySamaredranath Ghosh
Succeeded byBimalendu Sinha Roy
ConstituencyKarimpur
In–charge of the All India Trinamool Congress, Goa
In office
13 November 2021 (2021-11-13) – 4 May 2022 (2022-05-04)
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byKirti Azad
Personal details
Born (1974-10-12) 12 October 1974 (age 49)
Labac, Cachar, Assam, India
Political partyAll India Trinamool Congress (Since 2010)
Other political
affiliations
Spouse
Lars Wauvert Brorson
(divorced)
Alma materMount Holyoke College
Profession

Moitra was disqualified and expelled from the Lok Sabha on 8 December 2023 following recommendation of Lok Sabha Ethics Committee for sharing her login and password of NIC portal.

Moitra served as a member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly representing Karimpur from 2016 to 2019, and served as the general secretary and national spokesperson of the AITC. On 13 November 2023, Moitra was appointed as AITC District President of Krishnanagar (Nadia North). She was an investment banker at JPMorgan Chase before entering politics.

Early life

Moitra was born to Dwipendra Lal Moitra on 12 October 1974 in Labac in the Cachar district of Assam. She hails from a Bengali Hindu Brahmin family and has a sister.

Moitra went to Gokhale Memorial Girls' School in Kolkata. She graduated in economics and mathematics in 1998 from Mount Holyoke College South Hadley in Massachusetts, United States.

Moitra worked as an investment banker for JPMorgan Chase in New York City and London.

Political career

She quit her position as vice-president at JPMorgan Chase in London in 2009 to enter Indian politics. Subsequently, she joined the Indian Youth Congress, the youth wing of the Indian National Congress party where she was one of the trusted hands of Rahul Gandhi in the project "Aam Admi Ka Sipahi". In 2010, she moved to the All India Trinamool Congress party. She was elected from the Karimpur constituency in Nadia district, West Bengal in the Legislative Assembly elections held in 2016. She has been elected as a member of parliament to the 17th Lok Sabha from Krishnanagar, West Bengal.

On 13 November 2021, she was appointed TMC party's Goa in-charge to prepare the party for contesting the 2022 Goa Legislative Assembly election.

Political issues

On 26 June 2019, Moitra pointed out "seven early signs of fascism", which she said were present in India under Narendra Modi's government. She said that constitution on which every MP had sworn to protect was under threat.

Criticising the judiciary and the current government in the parliament on 8 February 2021, Moitra stated "The sacred cow that was the judiciary is no longer sacred, It stopped being sacred the day a sitting chief justice (Ranjan Gogoi) of this country was accused of sexual harassment, presided over his own trial, cleared himself and then proceeded to accept the nomination to the upper house within three months of retirement, replete with Z+ security cover". The speech caused an uproar in the house with members of the ruling party calling it 'objectionable' and violating parliamentary rules because it mentioned a person in "high authority". Opposition members supported the speech as it was based on facts which are matters of proceedings of the sexual harassment allegation was in public record. BJP leaders Nishikant Dubey and P. P. Chaudhary moved a privilege notice against her and speaker Om Birla had her statements expunged.

On 7 April 2022, Moitra argued in the parliament that the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 is even more intrusive than colonial surveillance laws in India.

Questioning Adani and Expulsion from Parliament

Moitra has been one of the most vocal critics of Gautam Adani, his connection to Narendra Modi and the government. Following reports of stock manipulation by the Adani Group, it was she, Rahul Gandhi and Jairam Ramesh who had pushed against the government demanding to launch a probe against the Adani Group. She had also raised alarm before the reports had come up on international news about the suspicious profile of the Adani Group.

On 14 October 2023, BJP MP from Jharkhand Nishikant Dubey and Supreme Court advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai sent a complaint to CBI with an FIR against Moitra and submitted a copy to the speaker Om Birla and their Ethics Committee in Lok Sabha. They accused Moitra received money from Darshan Hiranandani to ask parliamentary questions targeting Adani. On 19 October 2023, Hiranandani turned approver, and submitted an affidavit.

Moitra denied these allegations and stated that she welcomes any kind of enquiry from CBI and parliamentary ethics committee. Though Moitra admitted that she had shared her NIC portal login details with Hiranandani who was a friend and other people related to her own office, a common occurrence among MPs according to her, she denied accepting cash for any query she has raised in Parliament. She has said that Hiranandani was doing this either under duress or reward and anyone who spoke against the Adani-Modi nexus was being targeted.

On 9 November 2023 the parliamentary ethics panel recommended her dismissal from Lok Sabha on grounds that she had once received gifts like a scarf and makeup. On 8 December 2023, the Lok Sabha voted to expel Moitra from the membership of the house as per the recommended in report by the Parliamentary Committee on Ethics. Moitra has approached the Supreme Court challenging her expulsion.

The CBI conducted a raid at Moitra's residence in Kolkata on 23 March 2024 during the 2024 Indian general election and her campaign in Krishnanagar.

Lawsuits

On 10 January 2017, Moitra filed a police complaint against Bharatiya Janata Party MP and Union Minister Babul Supriyo for allegedly "insulting her modesty" during a national television debate. The complaint was later dismissed by the Calcutta High Court. A few days later, Babul Supriyo sent legal notices to Moitra and TMC MPs Saugata Roy and Tapas Paul for allegedly defaming him by accusing him of being involved in the Rose Valley ponzi firm scam.

In 2020, she filed a defamation suit against Zee Media and the company also filed a counter lawsuit for defamation against her for apparently making derogatory statements against the channel while addressing reporters. She was granted bail and put on trial by a Delhi Court. She later won the case and the charges against her were dismissed while the case she had filed has remained pending.

On 5 July 2022 at the India Today Conclave East, while reacting to a film poster showing goddess Kali smoking a cigarette, Moitra said, "Kaali to me is a meat-eating, alcohol-accepting goddess. You have the freedom to imagine your goddess. There are some places where whiskey is offered to gods and in some other places it would be blasphemy." Police complaints were filed against her by the Bengal BJP in Kolkata and five districts of West Bengal, as well as in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Her party All India Trinamool Congress distanced itself and issuing a statement — "Her views expressed on Goddess Kali have been made in her personal capacity and are not endorsed by the party."

Personal life

Moitra was married to Danish financier Lars Brorson, with whom she later divorced. She was in a relationship with advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai for about three years.

References

Lok Sabha
Preceded by Member of Parliament
for Krishnanagar

2019
Incumbent
State Legislative Assembly
Preceded by Member of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly
from Karimpur (Vidhan Sabha constituency)

2016 – 2019
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Office established
In charge
All India Trinamool Congress, Goa

13 November 2021 – 4 May 2022
Succeeded by

Tags:

Mahua Moitra Early lifeMahua Moitra Political careerMahua Moitra Personal lifeMahua Moitra

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