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‘Affidavit not filed under pressure’: Businessman Darshan Hiranandani on Mahua Moitra’s allegation

Image Source : PTI Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra

Mahua Moitra cash-for-query case: Coming as another development in Mahua Moitra’s ‘cash-for-query’ case, businessman Darshan Hiranandani, has said that he did not file the affidavit under any pressure as alleged by the TMC Lok Sabha MP.

Speaking in an interview with Times Now, Darshan Hiranandani said he was speaking in this matter after being named ‘directly and personally’ in cash-for-query allegations admitting that he used Mahua Moitra’s parliamentary login ID and password to post questions from Dubai.

Darshan is the son of billionaire businessman Niranjan Hiranandani and CEO of the Hiranandani Group.

Terming it an “error of judgment”, Darshan expressed regret in the matter and said he had put out an affidavit, which he got notarised at the Indian consulate in Dubai, to come forward with the facts upfront and bring the facts as they are before the public.

In his affidavit that surfaced last week, Hiranandani mentioned that Mahua Moitra thought that the only way the Modi government could be cornered was by attacking the Adani Group and therefore she ‘expected support’.

The businessman further said in his affidavit that Moitra shared her parliamentary login ID so that he could frame the questions. Hiranandani went ahead on this plan thinking he may get support in the opposition-ruled states, the businessman added.

In his affidavit, the businessman further claimed that Moitra got support from other people in this including journalists, opposition leaders and ex-employees of the Adani Group who provided her unverified information.

Hiranandani reiterated during the interview that “Ms Moitra felt attacking Mr Adani would target the Prime Minister because there was perceived proximity as both are from the same state”.

Responding to whether TMC MP Moitra had frequent interactions with international journalists from The Financial Times, The New York times, the BBC, and several Indian publications, Hiranandani said the MP had personally given him all the details.

Darshan Hiranandani on gifts and money mentioned in affidavit 

Asked to respond on the issue of gifts and money mentioned in Supreme Court advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai’s complaint to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against Moitra, Darshan Hiranandani said that he has mentioned what exactly happened in the affidavit.

The businessman’s affidavit says, “…she also made frequent demands of me and kept asking me for various favours, which I had to fulfil in order to remain in close proximity with her and get her support. The demands that were made and favours that were asked included gifting her expensive luxury items, providing support on renovation of her officially allotted bungalow in Delhi, travel expenses, holidays, etc., apart from providing secretarial and logistical help for her travels within India and to different parts of the world.”

TMC MP Mahua Moitra had raised questions over the credibility of Darshan Hiranandani’s affidavit, alleging that it was “drafted by the PMO” and he was forced to sign it after being “threatened”.

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