Opposition seeks JPC probe on Adani stock rout; force adjournments in LS, RS
Several Opposition MPs have given suspension of Business notices to the respective Houses of Parliament on the issue
New Delhi: The Opposition parties on Thursday demanded an investigation by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) or a Supreme Court-monitored panel into the allegations of fraud against the Adani Group that have triggered an unprecedented stock crash. Nine political parties filed notices in Parliament for discussion on the Adani stock crash, causing uproar after their adjournment notices were rejected in both Houses, forcing the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to adjourn for the day.
In Rajya Sabha, the motion was moved by Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge, AAP leader Sanjay Singh and K. Keshava Rao, an MP from Bharat Rashtra Samithi. Rajya Sabha chairperson, vice-president Jagdeep Dhankhar, rejected all motions by the Opposition, saying they were “not in order”.
In Lok Sabha Congress whip Manickam Tagore and Manish Tewari, along with others, filed a similar notice. However, Speaker Om Birla denied the requests, asking members “not to make unsubstantiated claims”. Agitated members shouted slogans.
Opposition parties DMK, TMC, SP, JD(U), Shiv Sena, CPM, CPI, BRS, NCP, IUML, NC, AAP, Kerala Congress and the RJD joined the Congress in calling for a probe against the Adani Group.
The Centre is learnt to have asked the Sebi to hold an inquiry into the matter. However, while the Sebi and the RBI conduct their inquiries, the Congress wants a separate and impartial investigation under the supervision of the Supreme Court or a JPC to probe the charges raised in the Hindenburg report against the Adani Group.
In both Houses, several Opposition parties together raised the Hindenburg report, demanding discussion on the issue and the investment of PSUs like LIC and SBI in the group. Mr Kharge said the Opposition parties have also called for day-to-day reporting of the JPC or the SC-monitored probe into the issue concerning public money.
"Keeping public interest in mind, we want a thorough probe into the Adani issue, either by a JPC or a Supreme Court-monitored probe. There should also be day-to-day reporting of the investigation and the manner in which government-owned companies are forced to invest in firms that have been exposed by the Hindenburg report," Mr Kharge said while speaking to the media.
He added: "Whenever we have given a notice, it has not been accepted by the Chair. That is why, we decided to raise the (Adani Group) issue in one voice in the House as crores of money of common people is invested in LIC and public money in banks is being given to such companies against whom foreign agencies have come out with charges of irregularities," he said.
Tewari said: "It is not a question about one promoter but about the efficacy of the entire regulatory system." The Congress MP had also given Adjournment Motion notice in the Lok Sabha to discuss the border situation with China.
AAP MP Sanjay Singh said: "I have written a letter to PM, Enforcement Directorate and the CBI demanding the confiscation of Adani’s passport, or else if he also flees the country like other industrialists and capitalists, then crores of people in this country will be left with nothing."
Later, AICC head of media and publicity department Pawan Khera said the Congress has raised three important demands from the Narendra Modi government. "An impartial investigation under the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, with day-to-day reports, should be carried out or a JPC should be formed to investigate the Hindenburg Research report in detail. Adani’s risky investments in LIC, SBI and other nationalised banks should be discussed in Parliament and appropriate steps should be taken to protect the investors," he said.
Khera added that the Congress strongly maintains that when Rahul Gandhi talks about "’Suit Boot Ki Sarkar’, ‘Hum Do, Hamare Do’ and now ‘Mitra Kaal’, he is not talking about any particular industrialist, he is talking about the murky system that Modi ji has set up for his selected friends to loot the country... The ‘Pradhan Mentor’ handed over shares in LIC and SBI to a group that has been accused of the biggest corporate fraud in this country. The ‘saheb’ has left no stone unturned in sinking the deposits of crores of Indians."
He also said the Modi government has maintained a stoic silence on the report. "We want to tell Mr Modi that we have nothing to say if you cheat your best friend but shall not keep quiet if you cheat the investors of India -- 29-crore policy holders of LIC and 45-crore account holders of SBI," the Congress leader said.
"The family silver of the country is at stake due to the sinking of the Adani Group, the hard-earned money of crores of investors and crores of policyholders is at risk," he alleged.