Congress MP Rahul Gandhi claimed on Wednesday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was protecting industrialist Gautam Adani by not ordering an inquiry into allegations of stock manipulation and accounting fraud made by United States-based investment firm Hindenburg Research.

Modi, in his reply to the motion of thanks on the president’s address in the Lok Sabha, alleged that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government “turned every opportunity into a problem” between 2004 and 2014. He made the speech a day after Gandhi accused the Centre of helping the Adani Group, now in the midst of a crisis, by tweaking rules and regulations in its favour.

The Wayanad MP, while interacting with journalists on Wednesday, claimed that the prime minister is “shell-shocked” and did not answer any of the questions that he had posed about the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s role in the meteoric rise of Adani.

“I had not asked any complicated questions,” Gandhi said. “I had only asked how many times he [Adani] had travelled with you, how many times you had met him there. Those were simple questions but there were no answers.”

During the debate on the motion of thanks to the president’s address in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, Gandhi had asked how many times Adani had bagged a contract in a foreign country after the prime minister’s visit.

Citing examples of the Adani Group signing business deals with countries such as Israel, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the Congress leader alleged that “India’s foreign policy is Adani foreign policy”.

On Wednesday, Gandhi said he is not satisfied with Modi’s response. “If Adani is not his friend, he [Modi] should have said that an investigation will be carried out,” he said. “Shell companies have been made, benami funds are being circulated, but the prime minister did not say anything about it. It is clear that the prime minister is shielding him [Adani].”

No personal issues with Adani, Ambani: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

In the Lok Sabha, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdury said that Gandhi touched the right chord by flagging the crisis, but added that the party has no “personal issues” with either Adani or Reliance Industries Chairperson Mukesh Ambani.

“We want the country to grow and have more industrialists,” Chowdhury, the Congress’ leader in the Lok Sabha said, according to PTI. “I am saying it openly, we have no personal issues with Adani ji. We have no personal issues with Ambani ji.”

‘Some people unhappy with India’s achievements’: Modi

Modi remarked in the Lok Sabha that some people who are “steeped in pessimism” are not happy with India’s achievements.

“This pessimism is because between 2004-14, economy was shattered, inflation was in double digits, unemployment was at its peak,” the prime minister said. “...So when something good happens, they feel disheartened.”

Modi claimed that turning opportunities into problems became the UPA regime’s identity from 2004 to 2014. “When the information age was on the rise, they got embroiled in the 2G scam,” he said. “When the nuclear deal happened, they got stuck in the cash-for-votes scam. When the Commonwealth Games of 2010 were organised, a scam took place and caused shame for the country in the world.”

The prime minister said that an “entire ecosystem became jubilant after speeches by certain people”, in an apparent reference to the speech by Rahul Gandhi. He, however, said that in the past nine years, compulsive criticism has taken the place of constructive criticism.

In his nearly 85-minute speech, Modi said the trust reposed in him by crores of people was his protective shield against the “lies, allegations and abuses” made by his critics.