Cong demands SC-monitored probe or JPC to look into fraud charges against Adani Group
A joint opposition raised the Hindenburg report in both the Houses of Parliament demanding a discussion on the issue
The Congress on Thursday demanded an impartial investigation under the supervision of the Supreme Court or a joint parliamentary committee to probe the charges raised in the Hindenburg report against the Adani Group.
A joint opposition raised the Hindenburg report in both the Houses of Parliament demanding a discussion on the issue. The opposition parties also created an uproar after adjournment notices by several members in this regard were rejected by the chair in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, leading to adjournment of the Houses for the day. No business was transacted in the Houses.
The Congress has also decided to protest outside the offices of LIC and SBI in all districts across the country on February 6.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge termed it as a "scam" and said the opposition parties have also called for day-to-day reporting of the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) or the SC-monitored probe into the issue concerning public money.
"Keeping public interest in mind, we want a thorough probe into the Adani issue either by a joint parliamentary committee or a Supreme Court-monitored probe. There should also be day-to-day reporting of the investigation on the issue," he told reporters.
Kharge said on behalf of like-minded opposition parties, he demands either a JPC or an SC-monitored investigation in the manner in which government owned companies "are forced to invest in firms that have been exposed by the Hindenburg report".
He said along with him eight other opposition MPs had given notices in the Rajya Sabha for a discussion on the Adani Group crisis and investment of PSUs like Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and State Bank of India (SBI) in the group.
"Whenever we have given a notice, it has not been accepted by the chair", the Congress leader said, noting that this is the reason all opposition parties jointly decided to raise the issue in the Upper House.
"That is why, we decided to raise the (Adani) issue in one voice in the House as crores of money of common people is invested in LIC, and public money in banks is being given to such companies against whom foreign agencies have come out with charges of irregularities," he said. AICC general secretary K C Venugopal said responding to the "public sentiments and outrage against the moves of the government", the Congress Party has decided to hold a nationwide district level protest on Monday, February 6, 2023, in front of LIC offices and SBI offices.
"The government can’t jeopardize the hard earned money of the people of India to profit the crony friends of the Prime Minister," Venugopal said.
He also said all the PCCs (Pradesh Congress Committees) have been requested to issue necessary instructions to the District Congress Committees (DCCs), so that apart from senior leaders, party functionaries and workers' mobilisation from Block Congress Committees, panchayat and booth level is ensured in full measure.
"The Modi government is protecting its best friend by repeatedly adjourning Parliament and scuttling the opposition's voice. We demand a JPC and a Supreme Court-monitored probe to investigate the entire matter and the government's involvement in this massive scam," Venugopal said on Twitter.
He claimed that the LIC has "invested a total of Rs 36,474.78 crore" in Adani Group, whereas Indian banks together have "invested nearly Rs 80,000 crore" in the same and they continue to do so even when there is allegations of stock manipulation, accounting fraud and other malfeasance.
AICC head of media and publicity department, Pawan Khera, said the Congress has raised three important demands from the Narendra Modi government.
"An impartial investigation under the Chief Justice of Supreme Court, with day-to-day reports, should be carried out, or a JPC should be formed to investigate the Hindenburg Research report in detail," he said at a press conference.
"Risky investments" by LIC, SBI and other nationalised banks in Adani Group should be discussed in Parliament and appropriate steps be taken to protect the investors, he said.
Congress leader and whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore, who had given an adjournment notice in the Lower House to discuss the row, also said that the party wants a JPC probe into the entire matter along with a discussion on the issue.
Congress MP Manish Tewari tweeted "JPC on Adani Saga" and said the party will demand that a JPC be constituted to investigate the allegations.
"It is not a question about one promoter, but about the efficacy of the entire regulatory system," he said, adding that the Congress and other political parties demand JPC on "a-la-affaire Adani". Earlier, the Congress was supported by several other opposition parties, including DMK, TMC, SP, JD(U), Shiv Sena, CPI(M), CPI, BRS, NCP, IUML, NC, AAP, Kerala Congress and RJD in demanding the JPC probe or SC-monitored investigation into the row.
Khera said the Congress strongly underlines that when Rahul Gandhi talks about "Suit Boot Ki Sarkar", "Hum Do, Hamare Do" and now "Mitra Kaal", he is not talking about any particular industrialist, "he is talking about the murky system that Modi ji has set up for his selected friends to loot the country".
"We are not against any particular Indian corporate house, we are against crony capitalism. When the rules are changed to benefit selected billionaires, we are against it," he said, alleging that "Hum Do Hamare Do" of "Mitra Kaal" are brazenly selling the "Family Silver" of the nation. "The 'Pradhan Mentor' handed over shares in LIC and SBI to a group which has been accused of biggest corporate fraud of this country. The 'saheb' has left no stone unturned in sinking the deposits of crores of Indians," he said, asking when will the serious allegations made by Hindenburg Research against Adani be investigated.
He also said the Modi government has maintained a stoic silence on the report.
"We want to tell PM Modi that we have nothing to say if you cheat your best friend, but shall not keep quiet if you cheat the investors of India - 29 crore policy holders of LIC and 45 crore account holders of SBI," the Congress leader said.
"The family silver of the country is at stake due to the sinking of the Adani Group, the hard-earned money of crores of investors and crores of policy holders is at risk," he alleged.
Adani Group stocks have taken a beating on the bourses after Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations in its report, including fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation at the Gautam Adani-led group.
Adani Group has dismissed the charges as lies, saying it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements. It called the Hindenburg report baseless and has threatened to sue the short seller.
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