Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said the party will keep raising the Adani issue both inside and outside Parliament and added if the government is not ready to work democratically, “people will get rid of it”.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters, he posed a set of 10 questions to the government on various issues, including the Adani controversy and expunging of some remarks made by him and Rahul Gandhi in Parliament.
Alleging that the Adani issue was a “big scam” that involved public money and needed to be investigated properly, he asked why the government was reluctant to order a joint Parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into it.
Kharge said he had not stated anything unparliamentary in his speech in the Rajya Sabha and had only asked some questions on the Adani issue.
“Why is the Modi government not conducting a joint Parliamentary committee probe into the allegations against the Adani Group? What is the reason behind (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi ji and his government not even allowing (anyone to) raise the word ‘Adani’ in Parliament?” he asked.
“Why are RBI, SEBI, ED, SFIO, Corporate Affairs Ministry, IT and CBI paralysed? So many scams have happened and why are they still silent? They only see other people but not him (Adani),” he charged.
“Modi ji is now using our Parliament like a washing machine to wash scams of his friend,” Kharge alleged in a tweet in Hindi.
The Congress president said it was the opposition’s job to ask questions of the government. The people have elected Parliamentarians and it is their responsibility to protect people’s money and their rights and ask the government questions on the impact of scams on common people, he said.
“But they did not agree to the JPC nor allowed us to raise the issue in Parliament and that is why our people are agitated. We will keep asking questions of the government in a Parliamentary democracy. But the government does not want to allow Parliament to function democratically and is talking of autocracy. If the government is not ready to work democratically and talks of autocracy and dictatorship, then people will get rid of them,” said Kharge, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha.
He said he had written to the Rajya Sabha chairman over expunging of his remarks. By merely expunging his remarks, the allegations made by people and the media will not be cleared, he added.
On the matter of remarks made by him in Rajya Sabha and by Rahul Gandhi in Lok Sabha being expunged, he said, “You can well imagine what is going on in the name of democracy.” He said he had been the floor leader in Lok Sabha for five years and the leader and deputy leader in the Karnataka Assembly but he had never seen verses or words like “washing machine” having been expunged.
“The entire opposition is together on the demand for a joint Parliamentary committee probe into the Adani issue. There is unity on this issue and everyone wants to save the country and protect poor people’s wealth,” he said.
Asked about the role of the Rajya Sabha chairman, Kharge said, “I don’t want to say anything, you have seen for yourself…. If I say something they will say I am raising questions on the chairman…. I have great respect for him. We want Parliamentary democracy and that is why we are moving with sensitivity.”
Meanwhile, Adani Group stocks have taken a beating on the bourses after the Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share-price manipulation, against the business conglomerate.
The Adani Group has dismissed the charges as lies, saying it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements.