Proceedings in both Houses of Parliament remained paralysed for the second day on Friday as Opposition members persisted with their demand for a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee into allegations of fraud against the Adani Group made by U.S.-based short-seller Hindenburg Research.
Opposition members in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabhja moved adjournment motions to discuss the issue as they alleged that public financial institutions such as the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and the State Bank of India (SBI) had become vulnerable because of their exposure to the group.
The Opposition’s stance was decided at a meeting convened by Congress president and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge in his chamber. Sixteen parties attended the meeting.
Soon after the Lok Sabha met for the day, the Opposition members were on their feet shouting slogans and demanding a probe into the tanking of the Adani Group stocks. They also demanded an investigation on the business practices of the corporate group.
Speaker Om Birla, who started the Question Hour, adjourned the House until 2 p.m. after the Opposition members were unrelenting and continued with their sloganeering. When the Lok Sabha met post-lunch, BJP member Rajendra Agarwal, who was in the Chair, allowed the laying of parliamentary papers amid sloganeering and then adjourned the House for the day.
The Rajya Sabha, too, functioned for a total of 11 minutes as the Opposition continued to press for a debate on the impact of the Hindenburg findings on public sector banks. Fifteen Opposition members moved a motion under Rule 267 demanding a debate on “frauds in investment by LIC, SBI, Public Sector banks and other financial institutions losing market value, endangering the hard earned savings of crores of Indians”. Six of these notices were from the Congress, including one by Mr. Kharge. Members of the AAP, the CPI, the NCP and the BRS also moved similar notices.
The Rajya Sabha functioned for eight minutes in the morning as Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar was forced to adjourn the House as the Opposition kept raising slogans. In the post-lunch session, Mr. Dhankar, after chiding the Opposition members, adjourned the session within three minutes.
“Parliament adjourned for another day because Opposition demands a JPC on PM-linked Adani issue that is playing havoc on the savings of crores of Indians. Modi sarkar says MPs are wasting public money. What about the crores people have lost over the last few days of MahaMegaScam?” asked Congress chief whip in the Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh in a tweet.