Says India’s reputation at stake
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come clean on fresh allegations against the Adani Group and said he must order a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into it as India’s reputation is at stake ahead of the G20 meeting in the country.
Addressing a press conference here, Gandhi said this is a “national matter” and all opposition parties are together on the issue. There are no differences within the INDIA alliance over it, he added.
Referring to the fresh set of allegations made by some top global financial dailies, he said this is affecting the country’s global image and its reputation is at stake just before the G20 meeting.
“India’s reputation is on the line…This is damaging the image of the country and therefore the prime minister should take action immediately and say that a JPC will probe this and a full-scale investigation will take place on the Adani issue,” Gandhi told reporters.
The G20 meeting is going to take place in the country, he said. India has said that there is a level playing field, India is transparent and there is no corruption, but the revelations are putting the reputation of the country and the prime minister under question, he said.
He noted that while India is trying to show to the world that it is a transparent economy and has a level-playing field, the question that arises is that “this one gentleman who is close to the prime minister of India was allowed to move a billion dollars and pump up the share price.”
“Why is there no investigation taking place? It is very important that the prime minister clears his name and categorically explains what is going on. At the very least, a JPC should be allowed and a thorough investigation should take place,” Gandhi said.
“I can’t understand why the prime minister is not forcing an investigation, why is he quiet. Why doesn’t he say that he will make sure that this issue is investigated and the people who are responsible are put behind bars. This is raising very serious questions about the Indian prime minister just before the leaders of G20 are coming here,” Gandhi said, noting that the world leaders are going to ask the question about this special company owned by a gentleman “close to the prime minister”.
“Why is it that in an economy like India, this gentleman is being given a free ride? They are going to ask this question and I think it is very important that this matter is made clear before they arrive,” Gandhi asserted.
Gandhi also noted that the claims made in the report published by the financial dailies of USD one billion being pumped into Adani shares to inflate stock price are of grave concern and must be investigated.
“These are newspapers that affect investment in India. They affect the perception of our country. There are a few questions that these newspapers are asking,” he noted.
“The first question arises: whose money is that. Is this Adani ji’s money or someone else’s money? The second question is that the mastermind behind this is a gentleman called Vinod Adani, he is the brother of Gautam Adani. There are two other people who are involved in this round tripping of money, one is a gentleman called Nasir Ali Shaban Ahli and another is a Chinese gentleman called Chang Chung Ling,” he claimed.
“Why are these foreign nationals being allowed to play with the valuation of one of the companies that controls almost all of Indian infrastructure? Who are these people and why are they allowed to do this and what is the role of Mr Adani in that,” he asked.
The former Congress chief said it very interesting to note that there was an investigation after evidence was given and the SEBI gave a clean chit to Adani.
“It is very interesting to note that the very gentleman who gave a clean chit to Mr Adani is today a director in Adani owned channel NDTV. So it is very clear that there is something very wrong here,” he noted.
Asked about the role of SEBI and its investigation, Gandhi said, “What is amazing to me is that the gentleman who has done the investigation is today an employee of Mr Adani.”
“What does that tell you about the nature of the investigation? It is pretty clear that no investigation took place and the only reason that no investigation took place is because the prime minister did not want any investigation to take place. Mr Adani cannot stop an investigation, the prime minister can,” Gandhi asserted.
Asked whether the INDIA alliance partners are together on the issue and will support him in raising the issue, he said, “With regards to the INDIA alliance, this is a national issue. This is not an issue of any one party. This is an issue that affects India’s reputation, especially because there is G20 taking place and India’s reputation and the prime minister’s reputation is on the line.”
Gandhi said there are G20 guests coming and right in front of them, two of the biggest financial dailies in the world have said that the prime minister is involved with Adani.