New Delhi: Claiming that its former president Rahul Gandhi warned about “a situation like this” months ago, the Congress Thursday demanded that an impartial investigation under the Chief Justice of India (CJI) or a joint Parliamentary Committee probe be carried out into Hindenburg Research’s allegations against the Adani group.
The party also alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the “prime mentor” of industrialist Gautam Adani and asked under whose directions the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) increased its investments in Adani group’s various companies and why the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) waited “this long to make some meek noises” when the facts highlighted by Hindenburg were long in the public domain.
“Rahulji has been talking about this for nine years. He had warned months ago that such a situation could happen. He had also said that we are not against corporates, but against monopoly and crony capitalism. He was right about this as he had been about Covid…,” All India Congress Committee (AICC) media and publicity head Pawan Khera said.
“Why are regulators like RBI and SEBI silent? Have they become like Gandhiji’s three monkeys? It is only now that the RBI is making some meek noises. Aren’t you late? What were you doing when all this was happening? Didn’t you know that 30 per cent of Adani debts are from nationalised banks? Had he been in the Congress, the ED would have been camping at his residence,” he added.
The RBI has sought details from banks of the extent of their exposure to Adani companies.
Khera said that LIC’s investment in group companies went up over the years and asked whose directions the public sector company was following in taking those decisions.
The LIC’s stake in the flagship Adani Enterprises increased from less than 1 per cent to 4.23 per cent, from 1 per cent to 5.96 per cent in Adani Total Gas, from 2.42 per cent to 3.65 per cent in Adani Transmission and from 1 per cent to 1.28 per cent in Adani Green Energy, he added.
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JPC probe demand
The principal opposition party demanded that the Hindenburg revelations be probed under the supervision of the CJI or by a Joint Parliamentary Committee formed for the purpose. “Adani’s risky investments in LIC, SBI and other nationalised banks should be discussed in Parliament and appropriate steps should be taken to protect the investors,” Khera said.
He targeted the prime minister for his silence on the matter.
“For 20 years, Modiji laboured very hard and inflated a balloon through his tenure as the chief minister (of Gujarat) and the prime minister. He bent rules to bring one man up. But now that what is happening in the Adani group is (that it’s) putting the hard earned money of crores of Indians in jeopardy. He is silent.
“LIC’s tagline ‘zindagi ke saath bhi zindagi ke baad bhi (with you during life and after)’ should be changed to ‘zindagi ke saath the, abhi adani ke saath hain (was with life now with Adani)’. LIC has 40 crore investors. What of their financial security?” Khera asked.
The Congress spokesperson referred to the decisions of Credit Suisse and Citigroup not to accept Adani Group’s securities as collaterals to question the silence of the SEBI and the RBI.
He also quoted from the Hindenburg report to flag the alleged associations of Adani with Chinese businessman Chang Chung Ling. “Chang Chung Ling is linked to the AgustaWestland scam on which we had formed a probe committee and into which the government desperately tried to drag our leaders. He is Adani’s partner. They share the same address in Singapore,” Khera said.
(Edited by Tony Rai)
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