New Delhi, Oct 20: Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra has alleged that the Prime Minister's Office "held a proverbial gun" to businessman Darshan Hiranandani's head and made him sign the white paper that was later "leaked to the press".
Moitra shared a two-page statement on her X profileposing five questions.
The Trinamool Congress MP said that three days ago (October 16), the Hiranandani Group put out an official press release stating that all charges levelled against them were "baseless".
"Today (October 19) an 'approver affidavit' has been leaked to the press. This 'affidavit' is on a white piece of paper with no letterhead and there is no official origin aside from a press leak," she said.
Posing five questions she said, "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? The affidavit is on white paper and not on official letterhead or notarised. Why would one of India's most respected or educated businessman sign a letter like this on white paper unless a gun was put to his head to do it?"
She said that the contents of the letter were a "joke".
"It has clearly been drafted by some half-wit in the PMO who doubles up as a creative writer in the BJP's IT cell. It sings paeans to Modi and Gautam Adani while linking in every opponent of theirs to me and my alleged corruption. Shardul Shroff is the brother of Cyril Shroff who has had a bitter separation of business from him. Shroff is Adani's "samdhi" and was on the SEBI's committee in total conflict of interest. Rahul Gandhi and Shashi Tharoor are both people the government targets relentlessly. Sucheta Dalal is an investigative journalist who is always exposing the government. Clearly someone said 'Sabh ka naam ghusaa do, aisa mauka phir nahi ayega'," she said.
Citing example of Darshan's claim to give in to her demands because he was fearful of displeasing her, Moitra said, "Darshan and his father run one of India's largest business groups and their recent projects in UP and Gujarat have been inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and by the Prime Minister. Darshan accompanied the Prime Minister abroad as part of his business delegation very recently.
"Why would such a wealthy successful businessman who enjoys direct access to every Minister and the PMO be coerced by a first time Opposition MP into giving her gifts and giving into her demands? It is totally illogical and only cements the truth that this letter was drafted by the PMO and not Darshan," Moitra said.
The Trinamool leader also asked why has Darshan not done a press conference and read this out or tweeted it himself or his company put it out. "If indeed he has 'confessed' to this why is he not releasing it officially rather than through back channel leaks? The truth is exceedingly clear," she said.
She further said that the BJP government has been waiting to somehow shut her up on the Adani issue desperately.
Hitting back at Jai Dehadrai, she said that he is not some 'Supreme Court lawyer' who has done painstaking research on her.
"He is a jilted ex with an acrimonious personal history with me who wanted to somehow get back at me. If indeed he was witness to all of my corruption why was he with me during the time and why did he wait till now to make it public? Also if he wrote to CBI and the LS Speaker, why out of 543 MPs would he forward the letters to Nishikant Dubey, a man who I have repeatedly exposed in Parliament and outside, and against who I have filed pending privilege motions? Why were the contents of Dehadrai's unverified letter leaked by Nishikant immediately and the contents used to create a media circus before any investigation was done?" She said.
Targeting the government at the Centre, she alleged that once the ground was laid the BJP moved onto step two and the PMO held a "proverbial gun" to Darshan and his father's heads and gave them 20 minutes to sign this letter sent to them.
"They were threatened with a total shut down of all their businesses. His father is in real estate which depends on government licenses. And he is in energy, data centres and semiconductor chip manufacturing which too depends on government licenses. He has over 30,000 crore investments in UP alone. They were told they will be finished, the CBI would raid them and all government business would stop and all PSU bank financing would be stopped immediately," she said.
She also said that the draft of this letter was sent by the PMO and he was forced to sign it and it was leaked to the press immediately.
She further alleged that this is the usual modus operandi of this BJP government.
"Every effort is being made to malign me and isolate and scare those near and dear to me. My closest have been threatened with ED and CBI raids in the next few days. This selective leak of a plea bargain being shown as part of a media circus only reveals how scared and desperate the BJP and Modi are of Adani's corruption coming out in the open. This is part of the establishment's witch hunt into every political leader who dares question Adani. This is the price to pay for standing up to the BJP and Adani. But they cannot scare me," she said.
Her remarks came after Dubai-based businessman Hiranandani has said that Trinamool Congress MP Moitra provided him her Parliament login and password to post the questions directly on her behalf when required.