PM will do his best to avoid discussion on Adani Group: Rahul Gandhi

Congress holds nation-wide protests outside LIC and SBI offices

February 06, 2023 09:57 pm | Updated February 07, 2023 07:46 am IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaks to the media after the National Convention on Bharat Jodo Abiyaan in New Delhi on February 6, 2023.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaks to the media after the National Convention on Bharat Jodo Abiyaan in New Delhi on February 6, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will try his best to avoid a discussion on the Adani group, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said on Monday as his party questioned Mr. Modi’s ‘deafening silence’ while posing three fresh questions to him on the ‘Adani Group stick scam’.

The Congress also held nationwide protests over the issue, with party members staging demonstrations outside the offices of the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) across the country.

“Modi ji will do his best to avert a discussion on Adani ji in Parliament. There is a reason for it and you know that. I want that there should be a discussion on the Adani issue and the truth should come out. The lakhs and crores of corruption that has taken place should come out. The country should know what is the power behind Adani,” Mr. Gandhi told reporters.

Also Read | Adani prepays $1,114 million to release the Group companies’ shares

‘They are scared’

He said he had been talking about the government and ‘ Hum do, Humare do’ for many years now and claimed the government did not want a discussion in Parliament as they were scared.

Keeping up the party’s attack on the Adani issue, Congress communication chief Jairam Ramesh posed three fresh questions under the HAHK ( Hum Adani Ke Hain Kaun) campaign that the party launched on Sunday.

Watch | What is the Adani-Hindenburg saga all about?

“His silence is not just eloquent but also deafening. Break the silence, Mr. PM,” Mr. Ramesh said, while posing the set of three questions. Mr. Ramesh alleged that the government had a track record of “bailing out” failing disinvestments such as IDBI Bank, New India Assurance, and General Insurance Corporation using LIC funds.

“It’s one thing to bail out public sector companies and quite another to use the savings of 30 crore loyal policyholders to enrich your friends. How did LIC make such a heavy allocation to the risky Adani Group that even private fund managers had steered clear of? Is it not the duty of the government to ensure that vital public sector financial institutions are more conservative in their investments than their private sector counterparts,” he asked.

“Or was this another case of your ‘ Mann Ki Banking’ to benefit your cronies,” Mr. Ramesh added, taking a dig at the Prime Minister’s monthly radio broadcast, Mann Ki Baat.

Explained | What made the Adani Group call off its FPO?

He said allegations of fraud and money laundering against the Adani Group had been known for some time and there had been as many as four major fraud investigations, including one by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), into the true ownership of its offshore investors.

“Given this knowledge, did anyone in the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance, or the LIC itself raise any concerns about these questionable investments? Were such concerns overruled and, if so, by whom?” asked Mr. Ramesh, adding that the value of Adani Group stocks held by LIC fell by ₹32,000 crore and the LIC’s own listed price had fallen by 14% in the last two weeks compared with a dip of 2% in the Nifty50 index.

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