'Loot Investment for Cronies': Kharge attacks LIC's investment in Adani group

The State-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) with 29 crore policyholders is an investor in five Adani companies, with stakes ranging from 1% to 9% that was worth ₹72,268 crore as of 24 Jan

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge

NH Web Desk

Following the US short seller Hindenburg Research's explosive report on the Adani Group which reveals the group's involvement in “brazen stock manipulation” and an “accounting fraud scheme”, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge questioned the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India's continued investment in the Adani group even as shares of the group plunged.

Kharge said that the country's largest life insurer continues to invest more and more money into the group even after LIC shares lost ₹22,442 crore in just two days due to exposure in Adani group.

“After the Hindenburg exposé — 1) LIC shares have lost ₹22,442 crore in just 2 days, and 2) LIC is ploughing more money into Adani’s flagship unit. LIC is 'Life Insurance Corporation' of India with 29 crore policyholders," tweeted Kharge suggesting that the Centre should switch to calling itself 'Loot Investment for Cronies'.

Earlier this week, The Congress demanded a probe by the RBI and SEBI into the charges levelled against Adani Group in the New York based research firm's report.

In a statement issued on Friday, head of the Congress media department and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh demanded, “The allegations require serious investigation by those who are responsible for the stability and security of the Indian financial system, viz. the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).”

The party has also questioned the "silence" of the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and probe agencies after LIC and State Bank of India (SBI) lost over ₹78,000 crore in market capitalisation of their shares due to exposure in Adani Group.

"LIC is public money! Post Hindenburg Report, the value of LIC investment in Adani Group shares have fallen from ₹77,000 Crore to ₹53,000 crore -- loss of ₹23,500 crore. Also, LIC shares have lost ₹22,442 Crore. Why is LIC still investing ₹300 crore in Adani Group," also asked Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala.

Surjewala also claimed that the "PM should be asked to explain, and the finance minister should be sacked and a full investigation should have been ordered."

LIC is an investor in five Adani companies, with stakes ranging from 1% to 9% that was worth a total of ₹72,268 crore as of 24 January – just before the Hindenburg report was published. The Hindenburg report has qualified the meteoric rise of the Adani Group as “the largest con in corporate history".

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