The Congress on Tuesday said the Modi government’s refusal to allow the Opposition to raise its demand for a JPC probe into the Adani issue was to be blamed for the impasse in Parliament.
Amidst stepped up opposition demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Adani issue, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi levelled a slew of allegations against the Modi government on its foreign policy and claimed that it was aimed at benefiting the Adani Group.
“Is the objective of India’s foreign policy to make Adani richer? In the last nine years, Modi ji has kept India in ‘bhram (misled)’ and Adani in ‘vishwa bhraman (global travel)’ along with him,” Gandhi alleged in a video in Hindi.
Asked about Congress’ allegations, union minister Giriraj Singh said, “Adani had made it clear that the first break was given to him by (Congress CM) Chimanbhai Patel…the second break was given by Rajiv Gandhi. (They believe that) if Adani does development for the country then it should be only under their rule, not in any other’s rule.”
Terming it as a non-issue, he said, “Adani-Ambani is just an excuse, they just want to abuse Modi”.
“Their (the Congress’) 10 years in government was marred by controversies, while Modi’s government has been of hope, it has been about houses, toilets, ‘Ujjwala’, water… so now they want to finish all this thinking that then only the government will be finished,” the BJP leader told reporters outside Parliament.
Both houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day on Tuesday as the ruling party demanded that Rahul Gandhi apologise for his ‘democracy’ remarks while the opposition stayed firm on its demand for a JPC into the Adani issue.
“Modi Government’s continued refusal to even allow the combined Opposition to raise its legitimate demand for a JPC into the PM-linked Adani ‘MagaMegaScam’ has resulted in an impasse in Parliament. This is the only issue. Anything else is a deliberate diversion by the PM & his colleagues,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.
Earlier in the day, leaders of 16 parties, including the Congress, DMK, CPI-M, JDU, RJD, NCP, SP, SS (Uddhav), AAP, CPI, JMM, MDMK, NC, and Kerala Congress, held a meeting and decided to raise the Adani matter in the House.
The TMC did not attend the meeting but its MPs staged a protest in front of the Gandhi statue in Parliament complex, asking the government to stop “protecting” the Adani Group. TMC members held banners and placards saying “Stop Protecting Adani” and raised slogans against the government.
The government’s offensive against Rahul Gandhi over his democracy remarks in London also came up for discussion at the meeting held in the chamber of Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, sources said.
Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi also met senior leaders of the party at the Congress office in Parliament House to discuss the party’s strategy in the wake of the government’s attack on Rahul Gandhi.
Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil charged that the government is trying to protect the Adani Group and asked why it was shying away from a discussion and a JPC probe into the matter.
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi said only a JPC can bring out the truth. She also alleged that the government was misusing probe agencies to target opposition leaders.
AAP’s Sanjay Singh alleged that probe agencies had become partners of the government in targeting opposition leaders. K Kesava Rao of the BRS also spoke on similar lines.
Several Congress leaders had given adjournment notices in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha for discussing the Adani issue, but the same were rejected by the chairman and the Speaker in Lok Sabha. These include Pramod Tiwari, Naseer Hussain, Amee Yajnik, Kumar Ketkar, Jebi Mather and Neeraj Dangi.
Opposition members also created uproar in both houses over the Adani issue, leading to adjournment of proceedings. US short seller Hindenburg Research had alleged that the Adani Group was “engaged in a brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud”, and used offshore shell companies to inflate stock prices.
The group had denied the allegations, calling them “malicious”, “baseless” and a “calculated attack on India”.