India a case study on government-business tango, PM Modi deserves gold medal for facilitating Adani's rise: Rahul Gandhi : The Tribune India

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India a case study on government-business tango, PM Modi deserves gold medal for facilitating Adani's rise: Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi was speaking for the first time in the House after his Bharat Jodo Yatra

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 7

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday used the occasion of parliamentary debate on President’s address to both Houses to allege government facilitation of Gautam Adani’s rise from 608th position in the world’s richest list to number two between 2014 and 2023, and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi deserves a gold medal for this.

Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. PTI

“India is a case study on government-business tango. The world should study India. Harvard business school should study. Prime minister should be given a gold medal,” Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi said in a series of allegations which union minister Kiren Rijiju repeatedly challenged demanding authentication on the floor of the House, and treasury benches dismissed as a bunch of lies.

“Rahul ji hope you know you are out on bail in serious corruption charges,” former law minister and BJP veteran Ravi Shankar Prasad said while Gandhi levelled accusations of rules being bent to give a contract to Adani to develop six airports, when he had no prior experience of the sector as rules mandated.

Gandhi asked four questions of the PM towards the end of his rather long tirade that was mainly an anti Adani show.

“How many times did you travel with Adani abroad? How many times did Adani join you after you landed abroad; how many countries did Adani visit after your visit? In how many countries that Adani visited did he land contracts after his visit?”

In a speech interspersed with repeated calls from union ministers to present evidence of his allegations (which he said he would later do), Rahul Gandhi alleged that PM and government facilitated Adani’s “miraculous rise to number 2 from number 608 in just nine years.”

Sharing his experiences from the Bharat Jodo Yatra, Gandhi said Adani’s name resonated wherever he went and youngsters asked him the “secret of Adani’s rise and the fact that he succeeded no matter what sector he entered. He never failed.”

Gandhi said the union budget has announced 50 airports, coastal shipping measures, grain storage for Adani.

“Gautam Adani dominates ports, airports and plays important role in India’s defence sector,” said Gandhi citing the Hindenburg report on Adani stocks and alleging that Adani set up shell companies that then invested back in India.

“How PM helped Adani? By getting public sector establishments to invest in Adani’s stocks despite their volatility. LIC alone has Rs 27000 cr invested in Adani stocks,” alleged Gandhi asking why the government didn’t investigate the nature of the shell companies linked to Adani.

The former Congress chief egged on by the opposition also said that Adani landed contracts in several countries where PM travelled.

“This is your foreign policy. This is not India’s foreign policy. This is Adani’s foreign policy,” said Rahul.

He earlier alleged that NSA Ajit Doval imposed Agniveer scheme on the Army.

“This scheme did not come from the Army, it came from the RSS,” alleged Gandhi.

In between his speech, Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla said, “It is not proper to reduce the debate on President address to one topic. It’s not appropriate. What message are you trying to send to the people?”

Gandhi later said his speech touched on all sectors — local, national and international as Adani-PM relationship progressed along these three levels right from the days when Adani helped Modi with the investors’ summit in Gujarat.

Gandhi also weighed in on Adani’s business interests in drone, green hydrogen, solar and wind power technologies apart from ports and airports.

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