Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday said that it was shocking that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not respond to allegations about the Centre’s alleged favouritism towards the embattled Adani Group.
Stalin remarked that he has learnt from Modi the art of speaking for hours and yet not responding to anyone’s questions, NDTV reported. He was referring to the prime minister’s speeches in Parliament last week.
In the past two weeks, the Opposition has been demanding an investigation by a Joint Parliamentary Committee or a Supreme Court-appointed panel into allegations by United States-based firm Hindenburg Research that the Adani Group had committed large-scale corporate fraud.
Stalin on Tuesday reiterated the demand for an investigation by a Joint Parliamentary Committee. The chief minister said that allegations made by Hindenburg Research directly pertain to the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government.
“Even the bench of the CJI [chief justice of India] in the Supreme Court is hearing the case seriously,” Stalin said. “Hence, discussion in Parliament must be done.”
Stalin said that questions posed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on the crisis are genuine and valid.
“There are several allegations against the PM and the BJP government, but he hasn’t responded to anything,” he said, according to NDTV. “He says the trust of the people is his protective shield. The people don’t think so.”
Stalin said that Modi’s speech was “full of rhetoric” but did not have any explanation on allegations of patronage to the Adani crisis or the blocking of the BBC documentary on the prime minister.
The Tamil Nadu chief minister also questioned why remarks by Gandhi and Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge were expunged from parliamentary records. “This goes against the tenets of parliamentary democracy,” he said. “Expunging from the House record does not mean you can expunge them [the remarks] from people’s minds.”
Stalin also criticised Modi for his statement that the Enforcement Directorate has united the Opposition in the country. “For the first time, a prime minister has accepted in Parliament that he does vendetta politics against the opposition,” he said. “This does not bode well for the country.”
Crisis in the Adani Group
Last month, Hindenburg Research, a company that specialises in short-selling or betting against a company’s share price in the expectation that it will fall, alleged in a report 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.
The conglomerate, led by Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, dismissed the report as a “calculated attack on India”. But shares in the billionaire’s conglomerate have plunged since the report and Adani lost his title as Asia’s richest person.