Congress MP Digvijay Singh on Tuesday reiterated the demand for setting up a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe the Hindenburg Research report that alleges irregularity in the business of the Adani Group conglomerate. During a discussion on the president’s address in the Rajya Sabha, Singh said ‘Amrit Kaal’ has benefitted only a bunch of people and 21 people hold assets equal to 70 crore people.
Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar intervened during the speech and said he may be called to authenticate some documents. The Congress member agreed. Citing the report by US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research report on the Adani Group, Singh called for an investigation into the resignation of former UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s brother who resigned from the firm Elara Capital after the report was released.
He said the Hindenburg report alleges that Adani has a history of controversial business tactics including environmental violations and fraud. ”It also accuses the company of using its political connections to win favourable treatment from the Indian government…With such allegations, the government of India must come out with a clear report, a clear statement. How far is this correct? Why are SEBI, the regulatory authorities not coming out with a statement? Their silence is something which casts aspersions on the interest, the crony capitalism of the BJP,” Singh said. The Congress leader also called for an investigation in the manner in which the Adani Group company’s share reached Rs 4,000 apiece from Rs 130 during the Covid pandemic when people were losing wealth.
Singh said people gaining from Amrit Kaal have seen 121 per cent growth. He said 50 per cent businessmen filed 64 per cent GST and those 10 per cent people who benefit from Amrit Kaal pay only 3 per cent GST.
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”Rs 86.5 lakh crore loan waiver has been given to those who are consuming elixir during the Amrit Kaal. Lot of things are being said about Adani. His loan of Rs 84,000 crore has been waived off. Those who are consuming poison, in that no loan waiver has been given to farmers, poor,” Singh said. He said members demanded a JPC under rule 267 but it has not been accepted. ”Hindenburg report… The matter that has come to the fore from the report, today the world is discussing it but we can’t discuss it. If we don’t raise it in the House then where will we raise it?” Singh cited previous JPCs, including on Harshad Mehta on Ketan Parekh, and asked, ”What was wrong in our demand…?” If the prime minister, he said, has courage he will reply. Dhankar intervened to explain the reason for rejection of the demand under rule 267 and said the notices were not accepted because they were not in order. At this, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had some words with Dhankar on his intervention and asked him to let Singh finish his speech. BJP member GVL Narasimha Rao also objected to the part of Singh’s speech under House rule, leading to an uproar. According to Singh, the Hindenburg report is being discussed overseas and investors have lost Rs 2.07 lakh crore. This, he said, is a matter which needs to be discussed.
He also asked for the Special Investigation Team report on black money and status of investigation in the Panama papers. Besides, he asked for information on Chang Chung-Ling, named in the Hindenburg report as a director of multiple Adani Group firms.
The Congress member also raised the issue of Rafale fighter jet deal. ”Allow us to discuss crony capitalism mushrooming in this country,” he said.