Govt stalling parliament discussion to protect Adani: Priyanka Chaturvedi

Chaturvedi demands a JPC probe into allegations of stock manipulation and accounting fraud against Adani Group.

New Delhi | Updated: 07 February, 2023 11:17 am IST

Firebrand Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi on Monday accused the Modi government of trying to protect the tainted Adani Group by stalling a discussion on charges of stock manipulation and accounting fraud against the conglomerate.

Speaking to The New Indian at the parliament complex, Chaturvedi reiterated the Opposition’s demand of setting up a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe charges levelled by a US-based activist research firm in its explosive report last month.

Since the beginning of the ongoing Budget session, Opposition parties have been demanding a separate discussion on charges of irregularities against the Adani Group and the formation of a JPC, resulting in back-to-back adjournments.

“We don’t want adjournments. We want a discussion on the Adani Group issues. USD100 billion of investors’ money has been wiped out in just 7 days. Adani stocks continue to fall even today,” said Chaturvedi, an MP from Shiv Sena (Uddhav faction).

She further said: “Common people have invested money in these companies. It is an open-and-shut case. Mauritius-based companies were pumping money into this group to send their stocks prices soaring.”

The Rajya Sabha MP alleged that the Centre had been stalling a discussion on Adani because “Adani and Modi Ji are partners”.

“A JPC was formed when the Harshad Mehta scam came to the fore. JPC was also set up in the case of the Ketan Parikh scam which was similar to the Adani scam. But it is not this time because the government is complicit,” he said.

Public-listed companies of the Adani Group faced the worst-ever offloading following the publication of the Hindenburg Research report on January 24, with stocks of at least five companies hitting lower circuits in several trading sessions.

Adani himself, the third richest man in the world with his assets pegged at USD120 billion at the time of publication of the report, has been down to 17th place in the Forbes real-time billionaires list.

In its report, Hindenburg accused the port-to-energy conglomerate of “pulling the largest scam in corporate history” by way of “stock manipulation” and “accounting fraud”.

The report claimed that Adani amassed USD100 billion of his wealth in the last three years even as the countrymen suffered economic woes caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Shares of the listed Adani Group companies shot up by an average of 819 per cent during that period.

The Adani Group has announced to sue the US firm for its “maliciously mischievous, unresearched” report. “We are evaluating the relevant provisions under US and Indian laws for remedial and punitive action against Hindenburg Research,” the group said on January 26.

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