INDIA bloc govt. will set up JPC to probe allegations against Adani Group, says Congress

A ‘huge coal scam’ under the BJP government had come to light, says Rahul Gandhi

Updated - May 22, 2024 09:47 pm IST

Published - May 22, 2024 01:16 pm IST

Congress Party senior leader Jairam Ramesh. File

Congress Party senior leader Jairam Ramesh. File | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Commenting on an international media report that the Adani Group passed off low-quality coal as more expensive cleaner fuel in its dealings with a Tamil Nadu government undertaking, the Congress on Wednesday said it would set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe such allegations against the business group within a month of the INDIA bloc taking office at the Centre.

Taking to social media platform X, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed that a “huge coal scam” under the BJP government had come to light. “Through this scam, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s favourite friend Adani has looted thousands of crores of rupees by selling low-grade coal at three times the price, which the common people have paid from their pockets in expensive electricity bills,” Mr. Gandhi said in a post.

Mr. Gandhi tagged a copy of the Financial Times report which cited documents secured by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to allege that the Adani Group passed off low-quality coal as far more expensive cleaner fuel in transactions with the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO).

There was no immediate reaction from the Adani Group, which has rejected all such allegations in the past.

“Will the Prime Minister tell how many Tempos [goods transport vehicle] were used to keep ED, CBI, and IT quiet on this open corruption? After June 4, an INDIA bloc government will investigate this mega scam and account for every penny looted from the public,” Mr. Gandhi said in his post.

In a statement, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said as the election momentum of the INDIA coalition accelerated, “the tempo of revelations about the ‘Modani Mega Scam’ has also picked up”.

“An investigation by the OCCRP, reported by the Financial Times newspaper, has found that dozens of shipments of low-quality, high-ash coal bought cheaply by Adani from Indonesia in 2014 were sold fraudulently at three times the price to the public sector Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) as high-quality, low-ash coal,” Mr. Ramesh said.

The Adani Group made excess profits of ₹3,000 crore from this while the common man was made to suffer overpriced electricity and elevated air pollution, Mr. Ramesh alleged.

“This is yet another example of the impunity with which the PM’s close friends have enriched themselves in the past decade by violating the law and exploiting the most vulnerable Indians as they are left to struggle for basic needs like cheap electricity and clean air. Air pollution kills 20 lakh Indians every year. ‘Amrit Kaal’ for the PM and his cronies is ‘Vish Kaal’ for everyone else,” he alleged.

Mr. Ramesh said the case to permit the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence to investigate the Adani Group over invoicing “languished” in the Supreme Court, but the OCCRP documents showed exactly how the over-invoicing and money laundering had occurred for years under the nose of India’s “usually overactive” investigative agencies.

“All this will change when the INDIA bloc government takes office next month. A Joint Parliamentary Committee will be set up within one month to investigate the ‘Modani Mega Scam’ — the illegal over-invoicing of coal and power equipment, the laundering of ₹20,000 crore of illegal proceeds back into Adani companies, the manner in which the Modi regime forced Indian businesses to divest their assets to Adani and the cost that Indian consumers have paid in high electricity prices and airport fees to enrich the PM’s cronies,” Mr. Ramesh said.

“Each and every element of the Adani Mod(i)us Operandi will be thoroughly investigated,” he added.

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