Adani Row Expected To Rocks Parliament As Opposition Demands JPC or SC-monitored Probe


Parliament LIVE Updates: The proceedings of both Houses of Parliament are expected to be rocky on Friday with the Congress-led Opposition demanding probe into the Hindenburg-Adani issue. On Thursday, proceedings of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day as the Opposition, which claimed that “a significant volume of public money through SBI and LIC is locked in the Adani Group”, demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee or CJI-designated committee probe into the allegations of fraud and manipulation against billionaire Gautam Adani’s companies that have triggered an unprecedented stock crash.

Adani Group stocks have taken a beating on the stock market, with shares of its flagship, Adani Enterprises, tanking 15 per cent on Thursday, after the US short-seller Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations last week in its report, including fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation at the Gautam Adani-led group. The market losses of the Adani Group have risen to nearly USD 103 billion (about Rs 8.5 lakh crore).

Political analysts reportedly see the issue as a good opportunity for the opposition to corner the Narendra Modi government in a crucial election year.

Meanwhile, the Gautam Adani-led group has denied all charges and called the report malicious and full of lies and termed it a “calculated attack” on India, its institutions and its growth story. It said the report was driven by “an ulterior motive” to “create a false market” to allow the US firm to make financial gains. Hindenburg has rejected Adani’s charge and has stood by the allegations made in the research report.

LIVE Updates From The Parliament

▶A united opposition, led by the Congress, raised the issue as soon as the houses commenced for the day yesterday, with their MPs giving adjournment notices for a discussion on the issue.

▶The chair in both the upper and lower house rejected the notices, prompting opposition leaders to question the presiding officers on procedures and asking what could be more serious than demanding a discussion involving hard-earned money of Indians in LIC and SBI invested in the Adani group stocks.

▶Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla denied the request for discussion, asking members to “not to make unsubstantiated claims” while Rajya Sabha chairperson, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, rejected notices, saying they were “not in order”.

▶Congress president and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge led the charge in the upper house, with nine MPs of various parties giving notices under rule 267 seeking suspension of the day’s business to discuss the Adani-Hindenburg issue.

▶In the Lok Sabha too, the opposition MPs stormed the well forcing adjournment within minutes of the house meeting and then again soon after lunch.

▶Leaders of several parties including the Congress, DMK, TMC, SP, JD(U), Shiv Sena, CPI(M), CPI, NCP, IUML, NC, AAP and the Kerala Congress, earlier held a meeting in the morning in Kharge’s chamber in the Parliament, where they strategised their plan.

▶Kharge told reporters that the opposition parties have also called for day-to-day reporting of the JPC or the SC-monitored probe into the issue as it concerned public money invested in Adani stocks which have taken a beating on the markets ever since the Hindenburg charges came out. “Keeping public interest in mind, we want a thorough probe into the Adani issue either by the JPC or the Supreme Court-monitored probe. There should also be day-to-day reporting of the investigation on the issue,” Kharge said.

▶Kharge has alleged that whenever opposition leaders give notices, they are not accepted by the chair, asserting that this is the reason all opposition parties jointly decided to raise the issue on Thursday

▶TMC’s Shantanu Sen said the opposition’s demand for a discussion on the matter under Rule 267 is rational and should be allowed.

▶Rule 267 of the Rajya Sabha rulebook allows for the suspension of a day’s business to debate the issue suggested by a Member.

▶Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday presented her last full-fledged Budget before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Budget was focused on raising capital expenditure by the government, fiscal consolidation, and attractive incentives and rebates in the new income tax regime. The biggest announcement was the increase in rebate limit in the new tax regime — now the default — from Rs 5 lakh to 7 lakh.

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