‘What magic happened?’ Mallikarjun Kharge asks in Rajya Sabha on rise in Adani’s wealth
The Congress chief’s comments came a day after Rahul Gandhi accused the prime minister of favouring the Adani Group.
The Congress on Wednesday continued to target the Narendra Modi government in Parliament on allegations that it was in collusion with industrialist Gautam Adani. Party chief Mallikarjun Kharge questioned whether the exponential rise in Adani’s wealth was due to favours from the government.
“Wealth of one of the closest friends of PM Modi increased by 13 times in two-and-a-half years,” Kharge said in the Rajya Sabha. “In 2014, it was Rs 50,000 crore while in 2019 it became Rs 1 lakh crore. What magic happened that suddenly in two years assets worth Rs 12 lakh crores came, is it due to favour of friendship?”
Kharge’s comments came a day after party MP Rahul Gandhi accused the prime minister of favouring the Adani Group. The conglomerate headed by India’s second-richest person Gautam Adani has been under the scanner since American short-seller Hindenburg Research, on January 24, accused it of pulling off the “largest con in corporate history”.
The report claimed that the conglomerate has over the decades been involved in stock manipulation, accounting fraud, used offshore shells for money laundering and siphoned money from listed companies. Since the report was released, Adani Group companies have lost above $100 billion in a rout in the stock markets.
Opposition parties have been demanding an investigation into the allegations against the Adani Group by a joint parliamentary committee. On Wednesday, Kharge reiterated the demand and urged Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar to form the joint parliamentary committee in the interest of the country.
Kharge, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, also criticised Modi for not speaking up against his party members who he alleged were spreading hatred.
“Hatred is spreading everywhere which is being propagated by representatives of the citizen,” Kharge said. “Why is PM Modi keeping mum then? You intimidate everyone, then why are you not scaring them? If you turn your attention towards them, they will shut up in the fear of losing their tickets.”
Modi is scheduled to speak in the Lok Sabha around 3.30 pm on Wednesday in his reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the president’s address. It is widely expected that he would respond to the allegations of collusion between his government and Adani.