The Congress said on Sunday that the Centre’s “loud silence” amid the allegations against the Adani Group “smacks of collusion”.

The statement came in the wake of a report published by United States-based firm Hindenburg Research on Janaury that had alleged that the conglomerate engaged in decades of stock manipulation and accounting fraud and pulled off the “largest con in corporate history”.

Following the report, Adani Group’s shares plummeted in the stock market, and the conglomerate also called off its Rs 20,000 crore follow-on public offering last week. The steep fall of Adani Group’s shares also dented a notable amount of Gautam Adani’s personal wealth as he lost his position as Asia’s richest man.

Congress General Secretary (Communications) Jairam Ramesh on Sunday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government for not taking any action on the accusations made against Adani.

“Vinod Adani, the brother of Gautam Adani, was named in the Panama Papers and the Pandora Papers as someone who operates offshore entities in the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands,” he said. “He is alleged to have engaged in ‘brazen stock manipulation’ and ‘accounting fraud via a ‘vast labyrinth of offshore shell entities.’”

Ramesh alleged that as a government that subjected the country to the heavy costs of demonetisation, inaction against the business entity facing serious allegations raises serious doubts about BJP’s sincerity of its investigations.

“Over the years you [BJP] have misused agencies like the Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation and the Directorate olsevenue Intelligence to intimidate your political opponents and to punish business houses that do not fall in line with your cronies’ financial interests,” the Congress leader alleged.

He added: “What action has been taken, if ever, to investigate the serious allegations made over the years against the Adani Group? Is there any hope of a fair and impartial investigation under you?”

Ramesh also asked how did the Adani Group, which was allowed to build monopolies in airports and seaports, escape serious scrutiny despite persistent allegations.

“Other business groups have been harassed and raided for much less,” he said. “Was the Adani Group essential to a dispensation that has profited from ‘anti-corruption’ rhetoric all of these years?”

Sunday’s statement comes after Opposition parties in Parliament sought an investigation into allegations of large-scale corporate fraud by the Adani Group. The Opposition has sought an investigation by a Joint Parliamentary Committee or a Supreme Court-appointed panel into allegations by Hindenburg Research.

Meanwhile, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday had said that India’s economic image has not not impacted due to Adani Group’s decision to pull out a follow on public offering. The BJP MP added that there are fluctuations in every market but the accretion over the last few days establishes the fact that the perception of both India and its inherent strengths is intact.

Also read:

Big picture: How the Adani crash unfolded and what it could do to the Indian economy