Congress to hold protests outside LIC, SBI offices on February 6, seeks probe

Who is responsible for erosion in Market Cap of LIC & SBI of ₹1,48,505 crore since January 24, asks Randeep Surjewala

February 02, 2023 10:45 pm | Updated February 03, 2023 10:23 am IST - New Delhi

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge | File Photo

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge | File Photo | Photo Credit: Moorthy RV

Demanding an impartial investigation into the allegations made against the Adani group in the Hindenburg Research report either under the watch of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) or a joint parliamentary committee (JPC), the Congress on Thursday announced nation-wide protests on February 6.

In every district, party workers would protest outside the offices of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and State Bank of India (SBI) on February 6 to highlight how the Narendra Modi government has ‘forced’ these public institutions to invest in the Adani group.

“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,” Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said.

PM’s ‘crony friends’

“The government can’t jeopardise the hard-earned money of the people of India to profit the crony friends of the Prime Minister. The LIC has invested a total of ₹36,474.78 crore in the Adani Group. Whereas Indian Banks together have invested a sum of nearly ₹80,000 crores in the same. And they continue to do so even when there is allegations of stock manipulation, accounting fraud and other malfeasance. The Group has lost $100 billion since the expose,” added party general secretary (organisation) K. C. Venugopal while announcing the nation-wide protest.

He also said all the Pradesh Congress Committees had been requested to issue necessary instructions to the District Congress Committees, so that apart from senior leaders, workers’ mobilisation from Block Congress Committees, panchayat and booth level was ensured in full measure.

Addressing a press conference at party headquarters, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, “”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”.

“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,” Mr. Kehra added.

Questioning the government’s silence on the issue, senior party leader and Rajya Sabha member Randeep Surjewala asked why the issue did not figure in Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s Budget speech. “In light of the big fraud being alleged by #HindenburgResearch, on Adani group why did the FM not announce an independent audit & probe by Serious Frauds Investigation Office/Enforcement Directorate,” asked Mr. Surjewala on Twitter.

“WHY did Modi Govt let #LIC, SBI Life, SBI Employees Pension Fund invest ₹525 CR in #AdaniFPO despite erosion of value? Who is responsible for erosion in Market Cap of LIC & SBI of ₹1,48,505 CR since Jan 24?” he added.

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