How many Politicians do we remember who challenged the ruling government in its first address in the Lok Sabha? Very few but during the Budget session of the 17th Lok Sabha, an elected representative in her maiden speech warned the country that the new government is showing all the signs of Fascism.
Mahua Moitra, a Trinamool Congress MP from West Bengal’s Krishnanagar in her high voltage speech in Lok Sabha referred to a poster in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum containing a list of all the signs of early fascism. “Each of the seven signs I have pointed to you featured in that poster,” she said as several Opposition members and at least one BJP ally thumped their desks in the House.
Mahua Moitra is a former investment banker who held the post of vice president in one of the largest investment banking firm J.P Morgan. She returned to India to join politics in 2008. Her first stint in politics was with the Congress party when she worked along with Rahul Gandhi in his ‘Aam Admi Ka Sipahi’ project in West Bengal along with being a Youth Congress member. However, she quickly resigned from the Congress party after she felt that the party lacked grassroots presence in the state.
Her second innings in Politics began with the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Congress in her own home state in 2010. Mamata Banerjee in order to spread its presence among the younger section got people like Moitra in the party. The young leader was promoted to the post of party general secretary and was even appointed as the party spokesperson. In 2016, the investment banker turned politicians was awarded the assembly ticket from Karimpur constituency. Moitra’s victory got her into the list of Banerjee’s most trusted sepoys.
Keeping her faith in Moitra, Banerjee gave her the opportunity to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election. She contested from Krishnanagar constituency against footballer and BJP candidate Kalyan Chaubey. Moitra reached Lok Sabha by defeating the BJP candidate by more than 60 thousand votes.
But this firebrand politician also has some controversy to her name. Moitra as an MLA in 2017 filed a defamation case against playback singer and BJP minister Babul Supriyo objecting to his televised remarks where he referred to her as ‘Mahua drunk on Mahua’ (A Bengali word also for local hooch).
Another controversy related to Moitra arose in 2018 when a delegation of Trinamool MPs including Moitra who were on there way to meet the people left out of the National Register of Citizens were stopped by the Assam police at the Silchar airport. The state administration alleged that Moitra had assaulted a woman cop.
During the Lok Sabha election, Moitra approached the Supreme Court stating that the Election Commission had not taken action on her complaint against BJP leader Mahadev Sarkar for allegedly making sexual remarks against her. CJI Ranjan Gogoi acting on her petition asked the Election Commission to take immediate action on her complaint.