New Delhi, February 7
Leading the Opposition attack over the Adani row in the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday alleged the BJP-led Union Government facilitated Adani Group founder Gautam Adani’s “magical rise” from 609th position on the world’s richest list to the second spot in nine years. He said PM Narendra Modi “deserved a gold medal for aiding the industrialist’s meteoric rise”, a charge the BJP dismissed as “shameless, reckless and baseless”.
Congress’s four posers
- Adani got contracts in how many countries visited by the PM?
- How much money did he pay the BJP through electoral bonds?
- How did Adani’s net worth rise from $8 bn to $140 bn in 9 yrs?
- Why was he given contract for airports despite no experience?
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“India is a case study of government-business tango. The world should study it. Harvard Business School should study it. The PM should be given a gold medal (for aiding Adani),” the Wayanad MP said in a series of allegations against PM Modi, evoking a sharp response from Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, who said, “You can say outside whatever you want. We can’t stop you, but inside the House you have to speak with a sense of seriousness.” “Rahul ji, hope you know you are out on bail on serious corruption charges,” former Law Minister and BJP veteran Ravi Shankar Prasad said, as Rahul alleged Adani was granted contracts to develop six airports without any prior experience. Prasad later said the Congress was synonymous with corruption and with the protection of the corrupt.
The face-off followed as Rahul turned the LS debate on President's Address into an occasion to criticise Adani and the PM. “How many times did you travel with Adani abroad? How many times did Adani join you after you visited abroad? How many countries did Adani visit after your visit? In how many countries you visited did Adani land contracts?” Rahul asked, prompting even LS Speaker Om Birla to ask him, “What message are you sending by reducing the debate on President’s Address to just one issue? This is not appropriate.”
Unfazed, Rahul led the Opposition attack on the government, which stalled the first three sittings of Parliament, with the BRS, AAP and Thackeray’s Sena boycotting the debate even today despite the larger Opposition deciding to let the House run.
Rahul alleged PM Modi facilitated Adani’s “miraculous rise starting 2014” when he came to Delhi. “Adani was at 609th spot on the list of world’s richest people and rose to become number two,” the former Congress chief said.
Sharing experiences from the “Bharat Jodo Yatra”, Rahul said Adani’s name resonated everywhere he went and youngsters asked him how Adani “never failed no matter which business he entered”. He alleged the Union Budget announced 50 airports, coastal shipping measures and grain storage for Adani who “dominates the segment and played a major role in India’s defence sector”.
Citing the Hindenburg report which alleged stock manipulation by Adani, Rahul asked why the government had not investigated “shell companies formed by Adani abroad”. He also questioned the LIC’s Rs 27,000 crore investment in Adani stocks.
Cheered by Opposition MPs, he further alleged Adani had landed contracts in several countries the PM visited. “This is your foreign policy,” said Rahul, who earlier alleged Agniveer scheme was “an RSS idea which NSA Ajit Doval had imposed on the Army”.
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