The Adani-Hinderburg Research incident that led to the fall in shares of the business conglomerate has given the Opposition a weapon ahead of the budget session of Parliament. Both the houses of Parliament – the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha have been adjourned continuously as while the Opposition is demanding a discussion on the issues in the house, the government has refused to buzz. A united Opposition relentlessly demanded discussing the allegations of fraud against the Adani Group. The Opposition parties also held a meeting to discuss their strategy and agreed that there should be a discussion in Parliament on the issue and a Joint Parliamentary Committee should investigate the matter.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar did not accept 10 notices given by various leaders of opposition parties to suspend the listed business of the day and take up the issue raised by them. Adani Group stocks have taken a beating on the bourses after US-based activist short-seller Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation, against the Gautam Adani-led group, which has dismissed the allegations as lies.
Opposition parties have alleged that the meltdown in Adani Group shares is a scam that involves common people’s money as LIC and SBI have invested in them. Congress said that amid allegations against Adani Group, Modi government’s deafening silence suggests collusion. “Days after Adani Scam, PM Modi is silent on his mitra Adani. Despite his love for saying his ‘Mann ki Baat’, avoids talking about the Adani scandal. Why is he scared? The nation eagerly awaits his “Mann ki Baat” on Adani,” said Congress.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will do his best to avert a discussion on the Adani issue in Parliament, asserting that the country should know what power is behind the billionaire businessman.
“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 there should be a discussion on Adani issue and the truth should come out. The lakhs and crores of The corruption that has taken place should come out. The country should know what is the power behind Adani,” said Gandhi.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Manoj Jha attacked the Center for covering up the Adani-Hindenburg issue and demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the matter. “People are worried but the government is trying to cover up the Adani issue. Gautam Adani is claiming that this is an attack on the nation, but when did he become a national person?…We want a JPC probe into the matter as soon as possible,” said Manoj Jha.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MP Mahua Maji also attacked the government and said that the Opposition is united. “Why does PM Modi not want to come and face this? Everything is being privatized gradually, they are being shielded. You can see where the country is heading. The entire Opposition is united, we are protesting. We want answers, why is Adani being shielded?” she said.
TMC MP Mahua Moitra, who claimed to have written to SEBI in this regard as well, slammed the finance ministry for its inaction. “$100bn market cap lost in 4 days. LIC, SBI & PNB with large positions in stock. Indian markets slammed for canceled FPO. Investors losing faith in SEBI. Some storm, some teacup, Mr Finance Secretary!” said Moitra.
Please see my intervention on Adani in Dec 2019 in lok sabha & see how I was being shut up.
And they say they have nothing to hide! #TruthNeverDies pic.twitter.com/xRzP9omuDPMahua Moitra (@MahuaMoitra) February 5, 2023
BSP supremo Mayawati yesterday said that the Adani episode will have a long-term impact on the country’s economy and it is “unfortunate” that the government is not taking people of the country into confidence on the issue. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister also asserted that India’s image is at stake due to the issue. “How can Adani episode by forgotten on Ravidas Jayanti as it is a new cause of concern? Instead of finding a solution to such matters, the government is making new promises and ignoring the people. The image of India is at stake due to Adani issue and everyone is concerned but the government is taking this issue very lightly. This is something to think about,” Mayawati said in a statement.
Y Sathish Reddy, Chairman of Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation, said in a tweet, “Key officials of Finance Ministry & Niti Aayog raised solid red flags before Adani’s illegal capturing of 6 airports. Yet, #Modi bypassed every official & tweaked every law to gift airports to his friend.”
On the other hand, terming the Adani Group issue as “storm in the tea cup”, Union Finance Secretary TV Somanathan recently said that fluctuations like this come and go. “I had said that in terms of our macroeconomic numbers, the issue (Adani enterprises issue) is like a storm in a tea cup and I still stand by that statement,” he said in response to a query during a press conference in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, another plea has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking to constitute a committee under the supervision of the retired Supreme Court judge to investigate the Hindenburg Research report. The petition has been moved by advocate Vishal Tiwari. In his plea, the petitioner said that he wants to depict the drastic condition and fate of people when there arise situations of share fall in the securities market due to various reasons at hand.
The petitioner said that in the aftermath of an unprecedented attack on billionaire Gautam Adani’s vast empire by Hindenburg, the market value of all 10 Adani stocks have halved with investors sitting with a colossal loss of Rs 10 lakh crore. In the last seven trading sessions since the release of the report by the American short-seller, the market capitalization of all 10 Adani Group stocks is down by over 51 per cent to Rs 9.31 lakh crore. (With agency inputs)