Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India is being used to bail out the Adani Group, the Congress alleged on Tuesday as it questioned the public sector financial giant buying 3.75 lakh crores of shares of Adani Enterprises between January and March this year despite the market value of the company’s stocks declining by almost 60% during this period.
Taking to Twitter, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said the new revelations made it essential to have a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Adani Group.
“LIC bought 3.75 lakh shares of Adani from January to March 2023! Crores of people in the country invest their life savings in LIC so that they get help to face any kind of financial problem. But why did Modi ji spend the money, that could have helped people in times of hardship, for the benefit of Adani? Answer =JPC!”, tweeted Mr. Kharge.
The Congress chief’s reiteration of his party’s demand for a JPC comes just days after ally and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar had stated that there was no need for a JPC probe into the Adani Group and had questioned the Hindenburg report.
In a statement, Congress general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh claimed that LIC’s holding in Adani Enterprises, a listed company of the Adani Group, rose from 1.32% at the end of June 2021 to 4.23% by the end of December 2022.
Mr. Ramesh said despite “serious questions” being raised about the Adani Group on January 24, 2023, the public sector financial giant’s exposure went up.
“Now it turns out that LIC’s holding in Adani Enterprises had further increased to 4.26% by the end of March 2023,” he said.
The Congress communication chief pointed out that the increase in LIC’s holding in Adani Enterprises took place when the market value of its stock had fallen by almost 60%.
“Very clearly, LIC is being forced to use its policyholders’ funds to bail out the PM’s favourite business group which is under siege. This makes the constitution of a JPC all the more essential and urgent,” he alleged.
Mr. Ramesh tweeted, ”The revelation that LIC’s holding in Adani Enterprises has increased while its stock value has fallen sharply once again strengthens the case for a JPC to investigate the PM-linked Adani ‘Mega Scam’.”
When contacted, an external person handling communications for LIC said, “No comment”. The LIC, however, on January 30 had said it has an exposure of ₹36,474.78 crore to Adani Group’s debt and equity, and the amount is less than one per cent of the national insurer’s total investments.