MP John Brittas | Photo: ANI
New Delhi: MP John Brittas on Tuesday said the government should take corrective measures in the Adani issue and warned that failure to do so "is going to take you down".
Opposition parties are protesting against the government, both in Parliament and outside, after a US-based short-seller firm Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation, against the Adani Group.
The shares of the group's companies witnessed massive sell-offs following the report. The Gautam Adani-led group has, however, dismissed all the allegations.
Speaking on the 'Motion of Thanks on the President's Address', Rajya Sabha member Brittas advised the Centre to take corrective measures and agree for a joint parliamentary committee probe (JPC) into the matter.
"I have respect for the President (Droupadi Murmu) but I also sympathise with her. She had to speak on behalf of this government which has fudged on multiple fronts," he said.
The MP also wondered why the government was shying away from discussion on the Adani issue and a JPC probe. These should be a thorough probe into the allegations by a JPC, he insisted.
"So, one issue which is raging in the country but that is a holy cow for many of us. There is obviously Gau Mata... (but) there is a bigger cow, holy cow in this country, none other than Adani. You dont want us to discuss about Adani, the fiasco, the scandal that is rocking the entire world," Brittas said.
He rued that the House was not discussing those cardinal issues affecting the economy, affecting the integrity of the nation and affecting naturally the goodwill of this great country.
"I would charge this government, for the first time in the history of India, this government is using patriotism and nationalism for protecting black money. That is a charge I am going to make. They are making this as a shield," Brittas said, as he referred to the statement made by the CFO of the Adani Group to the allegations.
Claiming that Hindenburg revelations were not a new thing, he said there have been three exposes earlier-- Panama papers, Paradise papers and Pandara papers.
In two of these papers, which dealt with shell companies and black money, there was a specific reference to a gentleman associated with Adani, the Rajya Sabha member said, adding that the government did not do anything.
"You came to power in the name of black money" and promised Rs 15 lakh to every Indian, he said.
"Blackmoney stashed in Swiss money has doubled in the eight years. If you want to fulfil your promise, please deposit Rs 30 lakh in the account of each indian," Brittas said.
During the 1980s, the CPI (M) member said the charges of nexus between a business house and the then government was a waterloo for that government.
"History is going to replay again. They should actually read the writing on the wall. Mr Adani is going to take you down. Please take corrective steps," he said.
"We have a great history of ensuring transparency and accountability in this country. Why this government is shying away and running way to genuine demand of a JPC (probe). Why are you not instituting an enquiry," he said.
He also claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had likened Kerala to Somalia and had said Kerala is a hotbed of terrorism.
DMK MP Tiruchi Siva highlighted the hike in petrol and diesel prices, and issues of farmers.
"As much as 40 per cent of the wealth generated in this country is owned by one per cent of the population and only three per cent of the wealth trickles down to 50 per cent of the population," he said.
In his speech, Sasmit Patra of the BJD demanded reduction of Goods and Services Tax on "tendu" leaves from the current 18 per cent, and also special focus status category to Odisha.
YSRCP's V Vijayasai Reddy also demanded special status category for Andhra Pradesh.
BJP MP Surendra Singh Nagar claimed that there have been no allegations of scams on the Modi government ever since it came into power in 2014. PTI