‘Adani sarkar shame-shame’: Opposition shouts slogans in Parliament, seeks Modi’s response on crisis
They also reiterated their demand for a joint parliamentary committee investigation into the allegations raised by US-based firm Hindenburg Research.
Both houses of Parliament had to be adjourned for the third consecutive day on Monday amid protests and sloganeering by Opposition parties seeking a response from the Narendra Modi-led government on its alleged patronage to the Adani Group.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is perceived to have close ties with the conglomerate’s founder Gautam Adani.
A crisis unfolded after a report published by United States-based firm Hindenburg Research on January 24 alleged that the Adani Group had engaged in decades of stock manipulation and accounting fraud. It also accused the conglomerate of improper use of offshore tax havens and raised concerns about high debt of seven listed Adani companies.
On Monday, Parliament was suspended again due to disruptions caused by the row. As soon as Lok Sabha met, Opposition members, mostly Congress MPs, entered the Well shouting slogans such as “Adani sarkar shame-shame”.
The MPs held placards alleging “yaari” or friendship between Adani and the prime minister. They requested the government to save public sector institutions such as the State Bank of India and the Life Insurance Corporation, who have made investments in Adani Group companies.
The Opposition leaders also reiterated their demand for a joint parliamentary committee investigation into the allegations raised by Hindenburg Research. The sloganeering continued despite Speaker Om Birla urging them not to disrupt proceedings.
In the Rajya Sabha, Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar did not accept 10 notices given by Opposition members to suspend the listed business of the day to hold a discussion on the matter.
“To generate optical impressions, we cannot allow rules to be derailed,” Dhankhar said, according to PTI. “The House is not in order. This is an outrage of the rules. This is an outrage of expectations.”
Earlier on Monday, leaders of 16 Opposition parties held a meeting in the chambers of the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge to chalk out a strategy.
Kharge criticised the BJP government, alleging it was not ready to have a discussion on the Adani Group. “Government wants this matter to not be raised, not to be discussed,” Kharge told ANI. “They want to avoid it somehow and do not want to bring it to record.”
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Mahua Maji said that the Opposition is united on the issue.
“Why does PM [Narendra] Modi not want to come and face this?” Maji said. “Everything is being privatised gradually, they are being shielded. You can see where the country is heading.”
Addressing reporters in Delhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will do his best to avert a discussion on the saga. “There is a reason for it and you know that,” he added. “I want there should be a discussion on 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.”
Since the Hindenburg report was published, Adani Group’s combined market capitalisation has collapsed by over $100 billion. The conglomerate also called off its Rs 20,000 crore follow-on public offering last week and Adani lost his position as Asia’s richest man.