Oppn unites for coordinated attack on govt over Adani crisis fallout on SBI, LIC | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Oppn unites for coordinated attack on govt over Adani crisis fallout on SBI, LIC

Feb 02, 2023 10:49 PM IST

The Opposition leaders also decided to protest at the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex on Friday demanding that allegations of fraud against the Adani Group be investigated

NEW DELHI: Opposition parties on Thursday decided to raise the fallout of the Adani Group crisis during the debate on the President’s speech that starts on February 13, people familiar with the matter said.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Sanjay Singh (AAP ) with other opposition party leaders address the media at Vijay Chowk on Thursday. (HT Photo/Raj K Raj)
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Sanjay Singh (AAP ) with other opposition party leaders address the media at Vijay Chowk on Thursday. (HT Photo/Raj K Raj)

Opposition leaders said the overwhelming view currently was that they should not focus on the report of the New York-based short seller Hindenburg Research that accused the Adani Group of improper use of tax havens and stock manipulation and raise concerns over the conglomerate’s high debt levels. Instead, the multiple leaders said, the Opposition will focus on the impact of the group’s crisis on the two public sector giants, State Bank of India and Life Insurance Corporation, and the deposits of millions of people in the two entities.

The leaders cited above said speakers from nearly 20-odd parties that attended an Opposition strategy meeting on Thursday, also decided to coordinate, for the first time, the sequence of their speakers in the debate for better impact.

Also Read: Bangladesh asks Adani Power to revisit 2017 pact over ‘excessive’ pricing

They also decided that no parties will raise their individual issues to retain focus on the SBI and LIC.

The party leaders also decided to protest at the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex on Friday demanding that allegations of fraud against the Adani Group be investigated under the supervision of the Supreme Court or a joint parliamentary committee.

Also Read: Adani Enterprises tumble over 28% as Credit Suisse halts margin loans on group’s bonds

Top Opposition floor leaders of parties such as TMC, Samajwadi Party and AAP met at the office of Congress president and Rajya Sabha’s Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge at 10am on Thursday to come up with a common strategy on the issue. DMK, TMC, SP, JDU, Shiv Sena, CPI(M), CPI, NCP, IUML, NC, AAP, Kerala Congress and RJD were present in the meeting. Later BRS joined the other Opposition parties in protest in both houses.

After a detailed discussion, the parties agreed that they will accuse “the Modi government on how LIC and SBI have been forced to invest in questionable enterprises which have led to massive losses. These public sector institutions are the custodians of the savings of the poor and middle class. This scam of monumental proportions must be discussed on the floor of the House.”

The opposition parties decided they will not mention Hindenburg—a US-based short seller. “It wouldn’t be politically correct to level their charges based on what a foreign entity has said in its report,” said a senior leader present in the meeting.

“Our focus will be to demand a high-level enquiry. But parties will not make a collective demand for a particular form of inquiry. The Congress is insisting on a JPC pointing out that on an earlier issue related to the stock market, a JPC was constituted and as a result of the JPC report, SEBI, the market regulator, was established. But TMC, CPI(M), AAP and SP are likely to seek a Supreme Court-monitored probe,” said a senior leader present in the meeting.

The 20-odd parties present at the meeting also agreed not to raise their individual issues to avoid any distraction to the key issue.

“It has happened in the past that a party, mostly nudged by the ruling dispensation, raises a completely different issue and the government happily agrees to a debate to divert from our issue,” said a third member of the Opposition.

Leaders of the Congress, Trinamool, AAP and DMK met again after the Houses were adjourned for the first time to further strategize on the Adani issue. Another meeting of the Opposition has been called.

Later, a senior Opposition leader said that they fear the treasury bench members might disrupt the House to prevent us from raising the issue related to SBI and LIC.

The Adani group, facing allegations of fraud, withdrew a fully subscribed follow-on public offer (FPO) on Wednesday.

“Yesterday’s decision of its withdrawal would have surprised many. But considering the volatility of the market seen yesterday, our board strongly felt that it wouldn’t have been morally correct to proceed with FPO,” Adani said in a video statement on Thursday.

On January 30, the Adani Group on Sunday issued a detailed statement on the Hindenburg report and said the allegations against the company are nothing but lies. The Hindenburg report is neither independent, objector nor well-researched, the 413-page statement said.

The Adani Group said there are multiple false narratives being created in relation to certain allegations concerning diamond exports. Reports made misleading claims around offshore entities being allegedly ‘related parties’ without regard for applicable law. The report only intended to create a false market in securities to enable Hindenburg to book gains. The Adani Group is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the Congress also sought information about Chinese businessman Chang Chung-Ling. “This name came in the AgustaWestland case. Manmohan Singh’s government ordered a JPC into that. They wanted to drag our name but the person involved is the partner of their friend,” Congress leader Pawan Khera said.

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