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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Linkages between PM Narendra Modi and Adanis are documented, says Rahul Gandhi

'The gentleman is pretty much in every single business. As people know, he is sending money out of India; he is manipulating his stock prices and he is using that money to buy Indian assets'

Sanjay K. Jha New Delhi Published 11.09.23, 06:39 AM
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during an interaction with students and faculty at INALCO University, in Paris, France.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during an interaction with students and faculty at INALCO University, in Paris, France. PTI picture

Rahul Gandhi has said the linkages between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Adanis are documented and what has been going on is so over-the-top that it will be possible to ensure accountability one day.

“What you are having in India today with Mr Adani is so blatant, and it’s completely so over-the-top, I don’t think there is any other place this is going on,” Rahul said on Sunday, answering questions about crony capitalism and monopolies in India at the Sciences Po University in France.

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“The gentleman is pretty much in every single business. As people know, he is sending money out of India; he is manipulating his stock prices and he is using that money to buy Indian assets.”

Rahul went on: “It’s a big circle. Part of the reason the Prime Minister got so excited about this Bharat issue is because of the Adani story. Everybody knows it; we know it that there are very close linkages between the Prime Minister and Mr Adani. The documentation is available."

Rahul added: “And he is not going to get away with it. Eventually, he is going to be held accountable for it. It is so over-the-top, it is completely ridiculous.”

The Congress has consistently alleged that rules are being bent to help Adani, that he is being awarded big contracts in India and abroad through political interference, and that investigations by the central agencies against him are being blocked at various levels.

Even on Saturday, while Modi was celebrating the success of the G20 Summit, the Congress had issued a statement accusing the Prime Minister of duplicity on corruption in the context of Adani’s affairs.

Rahul on Sunday argued that policies were being framed to sustain crony capitalism.

“You can have policy structures that seriously affect how you distribute incomes. The GST is a tax on small and medium businesses. Hiring an accountant (and other compliance issues) will relatively cost the MSMEs much more than Adani,” he said.

“The (November 2016) demonetisation was a tax on small businesses. The demonetisation was not about (tackling) black money; it was about breaking the back of small and medium businesses to pave the way for Adani. So, how you define policy — where you put money fundamentally determines how you distribute it.”

He added: “The MGNREGA was about the distribution of wealth. The Right to Food distributes wealth. Developing skills distributes wealth. Destroying MSMEs concentrates wealth. The GST, applied this way, concentrates wealth. What you did during Covid concentrates wealth. Giving a free pass to a large business guy and forgiving their loans and not forgiving the loans of the farmers is concentrating wealth.”

The Congress and the other INDIA parties have decided to scale up the demand for a joint parliamentary committee to probe the allegations against the Adani group at the special session of Parliament beginning September 18.

A JPC was one of nine issues that Sonia Gandhi had listed in her letter to the Prime Minister in the context of the special session, whose agenda remains unknown.

Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray too had pointed to crony capitalism in his acerbic remark, “Sabko laat, doston ka vikas (A kick for all, development for friends)”, at the Mumbai conclave of the INDIA bloc.

Addressing a poll rally in Rajasthan on Sunday, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said: “The BJP government has no concern about the struggles of the poor, accentuated by unemployment and high prices. The Prime Minister is standing behind Adani. National assets are being handed over to crony capitalists. The Prime Minister helps his capitalist friends and misleads the voters by using religion.”

She added: “Himachal Pradesh was devastated by floods. What did Adani do? He raised the price of cement, which is required for reconstruction, and lowered the price of apples, which hurt the distressed farmers.”

Party communications chief Jairam Ramesh issued a statement alleging the Prime Minister’s statements at the G20 Summit had betrayed his hypocrisy on the question of environment and biodiversity, apart from issues like money-laundering and corruption. He alleged that Modi’s cronies had set their sights on exploiting India’s rich and bio-diverse forests.

“They want to clear the Northeast’s rich, bio-diverse forests to set up palm oil plantations and deforest central India’s hills and forests, including those considered sacred by Adivasi communities, to commence mining,” Ramesh said.

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