NEW DELHI: Congress president and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has called a meeting of “like-minded” opposition parties on Monday.
The meeting will be held at Kharge’s office at Parliament before the start of the business of Rajya Sabha. The meeting is believed to be called to chalk out the strategy of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday reiterated his party’s demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the businesses of the Adani Group in the wake of the report by US short-seller firm Hindenburg Research.
Addressing a press conference, Kharge said, “Shouldn’t there be an inquiry into the Adani scam? Shouldn’t the matter be referred to the JPC? Should not there be a discussion on the money that public sector banks invested in Adani’s businesses? Public money is involved in it. Why does the government have a problem taking Adani’s name?”
Kharge alleged that PM Modi acted as an ‘agent’ for the Adani group of companies.
The Congress national president added, “Modi-ji acted as Adani’s agent and got him tenders in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Everybody knows about this.”
Questioning the regulatory bodies of the country, Kharge said, “The RBI, SEBI, ED, Corporate Affairs Ministry, Income Tax and the CBI seem paralysed. Can they not see the corruption here? Is Adani invisible to them? With our institutions in inertia, it is our duty to question the government. The people sent us to the Parliament as their representatives and it is our responsibility to safeguard the public.”
“We tried to raise several issues in the Parliament. However, the Prime Minister evaded all questions and just gave an election speech, boasting about himself,” Kharge added.
Meanwhile, taking a serious note of the Opposition uproar in the Upper House on Friday over the demand for JPC probe into the Adani businesses in the wake of the report by US short-seller firm Hindenburg Research, Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar lost his cool and warned the protesting MPs that “every transgression from both sides would not go without his deep reflection”.
The outburst came amid a heated exchange of words between Union Minister Piyush Goyal and Kharge, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House, after the Congress alleged that Prime Minister Modi has ‘links’ with industrialist Gautam Adani.
Last week, amid the opposition sloganeering on the Hindenburg-Adani row and demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the matter by the Opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed both houses of Parliament during the discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address.
On Thursday, launching a scathing attack on Congress and other opposition parties who have been targeting him, Prime Minister Modi in the Rajya Sabha said “one person (Modi) is proving too much for so many” and that the more muck is raised by parties opposed to the BJP, the more the saffron party’s lotus will bloom.
A report by a US-based Hindenburg Research surfaced on January 24, claiming that the Adani Group had weak business fundamentals, and was involved in stock manipulation and accounting fraud, among others. The report triggered a sell-off of shares of all Adani Group companies.
However, the Adani group had termed the report “nothing but a lie”.
In a statement, Adani Group said Adani portfolio and the Adani verticals are focused on bringing India into the global economy and nation-building. In the summary of the long response by Adani Group, it said the report was “nothing but a lie”.
The first half of the Budget session will continue till February 13 and the second half will be held from March 13 to April 6. (ANI)