THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Adani Group’s slide in the stock market following the Hindenburg report has put the Congress and ruling CPM in a piquant situation as the anti-Vizhinjam port agitators are all set to raise questions on Adani’s credibility.
After the Hindenburg report accused the conglomerate of market manipulation and fraudulent accounting, the state leadership of the two parties are tight-lipped. Those who oppose the port construction point out the doubts they had raised earlier in awarding the project to Adani.
They demand a relook into the way the agreement was signed. Joseph C Mathew, who had approached the court against the port construction, told TNIE that there was suspicion in the way in which the-then UDF government brought in the mortgage provision in the agreement with Adani after all other bidders retracted.
“The CAG has pointed out that in the absence of competitive bids, the government should have proceeded with the re-tendering process. The Hindenburg report has revealed huge debts incurred by the company,” he said. Another complainant A J Vijayan told TNIE that with the publication of the report, the future of Adani Group is in question.
“If this is the start of Adani’s fall, then the future of the Vizhinjam project and the state of Kerala will also be in trouble. The agitators, who have kept away from open protests of late, point out that the way in which the Oomman Chandy government awarded the project work to Adani and the LDF government’s silence after it came to power are suspicious. As there is a truce between the government and the Latin Archdiocese, they don’t want to come out in the open.
The national leadership of the Congress had come down heavily on Adani and demanded a detailed probe into the findings in the RBI and SEBI reports against Adani. However, the state Congress leadership, which had openly supported the agitators, chose to keep mum on the recent developments related to Adani.
The CPM maintains a critical view on crony capitalism and the nexus between big corporates and the BJP government at the Centre. However, they are yet to respond as the party central committee meeting is being held in Kolkata. “The CC didn’t discuss the Hindenburg report,” a senior leader told TNIE.
“The CC might take up the issue in the deliberations ahead,” he said. However, it is interesting to see whether the state CPM leaders who are always vigilant against the nexus between corporates and governments, will speak against Adani Group.
CPM, which was in Opposition when the agreement was signed, had alleged that the government was handing over the project worth Rs 6,000 crore to the Adani Group. Although it had formed a judicial commission to investigate the allegations, the commission gave a clean chit to Oommen Chandy.
Meanwhile, the state BJP unit is taking a guarded approach on the issue as Adani Group is reportedly close to the NDA government at the Centre.