NEW DELHI: A day after writing to Vice-President and Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankar over six of his remarks getting expunged, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said the Narendra Modi government is conspiring to hide the truth by exerting pressure on the presiding officers of both Houses of Parliament and to suppress the JPC inquiry.
Addressing the media at the AICC headquarters, Kharge said that his party would continue to raise the Adani issue both inside and outside Parliament. Earlier this week, during his speech in the Rajya Sabha on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address, Kharge had asked how Gautam Adani became the world’s second richest person so quickly, and questioned his links with the government, and the PM’s silence on the matter.
Alleging that the Adani issue was a “big scam” that involved public money and should be thoroughly investigated, Kharge on Friday posed 10 questions to the government. “What is the reason that Modiji and his entire government do not allow even utterance of the word ‘Adani’ in Parliament?” he asked.
Questioning the government on its silence on the Opposition’s demand for a probe, he said, “What is the reason that RBI, SEBI, ED, corporate affairs ministry, income tax department and CBI have suffered paralysis in the name of investigation against Adani?”
On the deletion of the comments from the speeches, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said, “You can well imagine what is going on in the name of democracy.” Kharge further said that though he held the posts of floor leader in Lok Sabha for five years and the leader and deputy leader in the Karnataka Assembly, he had never seen words like “washing machine” being expunged.
“By merely removing my remarks, allegations made by people and the media will not be cleared,” he said. “The entire Opposition is together on the demand for a JPC probe into the Adani issue,” he said. When asked about the role of the Rajya Sabha chairman, Kharge said, “I don’t want to say anything. You have seen it yourself. If I say something, they will say I am raising questions about the chairman. We want parliamentary democracy and that is why we are moving with sensitivity,” he added.
Kharge also raised concerns over the exposure of LIC and SBI to the Adani Group. “Shouldn’t questions be asked as to why the value of LIC and SBI shares fell by more than Rs 1 lakh crore in the stock market?” he asked. “Shouldn’t it be asked as to whom the thousands of crores of rupees pouring in from tax havens to Adani’s companies belong?”
He also said that questions should be raised on why Rs 82,000-crore loan was given to Adani by SBI and other banks. “Shouldn’t questions be asked as to why Rs 525 crore of LIC and SBI were invested in Adani FPO despite over 32% fall in Adani’s shares?” he asked. He also sought to know if the Modi government secured contracts for Adani in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.