Rahul Gandhi accuses Narendra Modi of favouring Adani
New Delhi: Amid the Opposition's demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Adani Group issue, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of favouring the billionaire businessman.
Taking part in the discussion in Lok Sabha over the 'Motion of Thanks' to the President's address to Parliament, the Congress parliamentarian from Wayanad asked the PM to clarify his relationship with Adani.
In his speech, the former Congress president lambasted the Modi-led BJP government, accusing it of promoting the Adani group in key sectors like airport, ports,
cements and power.
Rahul Gandhi claimed that the Adani group was bankrolled by the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) generously.
Amidst repeated interruptions caused by the Treasury benches, the Congress MP asked, "What is Adani ji's relation with the PM ? How has he become so successful?"
He alleged that the relationship dates back to the period when Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
"When Modi was Gujarat CM, one man stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him. Adani was loyal to him. The result of that was the tremendous expansion of his business in Gujarat," Rahul Gandhi said.
"The real magic began when PM Modi reached Delhi in 2014 (after BJP rode to power). In 2014, Adani was at number 609 in the list of rich. But, within few years he is number two," Gandhi added.
Referring to his recently concluded 'Bharat Jodo Yatra', Rahul said, "From Kerala to Kashmir, everywhere I heard only one name- Adani...Adani...Adani..... They (People he met) would ask me two-three questions. Adani, if he enters into any business, achieves success and never fails. They asked what was happening. Earlier, he used to do one or two businesses. Now, he is working in 8 to 10 sectors including airports, solar, cement and power."
He further alleged that that rules were changed to favour Adani and the latter got six airports including Mumbai. On this, some Ministers and senior members of the BJP asked him to authenticate his claims.
"If you are levelling allegations you have to give proof," Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said. In response, Rahul said, "I will."
Senior BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad termed the allegations of Rahul "baseless".
The Congress MP also posed a volley of questions to the PM over Adani.
"PM Narendra Modi ji how many times did you travel together with Adani ji? How many times did Adani ji join you later on a visit? How many times did Adani ji travel to a country after you immediately did? In how many of these did Adani ji get a contract after you had visited? How much money did Adani ji give to BJP in electoral bonds?" he asked.
In an apparent reference to PM's swipe at Congress over the 'Rafale deal', the MP said, "Yesterday, PM had said false allegations were levelled (against his government). But the reality is that HAL's contract of 126 aircraft was given to Anil Ambani."
Attacking the government over the new recruitment scheme in the armed forces, Rahul said, "You have said the Agniveer scheme will benefit the youth. But the youth of the country do not agree on the same and have a different view."
"Ajit Doval ne army pe thopa hein (Ajit Doval has imposed on the army) ," Rahul said referring to the scheme, triggering objections from the ruling members on taking the name.
(With UNI inputs)