Opposition stages protest in Parliament on Adani issue, stalls both LS, RS

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Opposition parties' MPs stage a protest over Adani row at the Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex, in New Delhi, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023 | Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Opposition MPs on Monday held a protest in front of Gandhi statue in Parliament complex and stalled proceedings in both houses while demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe or a Supreme Court-monitored investigation into the Adani issue.

Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned till 2 PM after opposition members protested in both houses seeking a discussion on the matter.

Adani group stocks have taken a beating on the bourses after US-based activist short-seller Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation at the Gautam Adani-led group.

The opposition parties have alleged that the meltdown in Adani Group shares is a scam that involves common people's money as public sector LIC and SBI have invested in them.

The Adani group has maintained it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements.

"Only a JPC or SC-monitored investigation under the CJI can bring out the truth about 'forced' investments by LIC and PSU banks in companies alleged of financial fraud, endangering the hard-earned savings of crores of Indians," said Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge.

"Yet again for the third day in a row the Opposition not allowed to even mention in Parliament its legitimate demand for JPC into the PM-linked Adani 'maha mega scam'. Adjourned till 2 pm,", Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said.

"The Modi Government is simply running away," he also alleged.

The protest by various opposition parties in front of Gandhi statue followed a meeting on Monday morning to coordinate their joint strategy in the House on the Adani issue.

Among the parties that participated in the meeting held in the chamber of Kharge were the Congress, DMK, NCP, BRS, JDU, SP, CPM, CPI, JMM, RLD, RSP, AAP, IUML, RJD and Shiv Sena.

Trinamool Congress members skipped the meeting of opposition leaders but joined the protest by opposition leaders in front of Gandhi statue in Parliament complex.

Raising slogans, opposition MPs held a banner that read "we demand JPC or SC monitored probe on Adani scandal". They also held posters and placards demanding JPC and saving public money of LIC, SBI invested in the Adani group.

"We demand a discussion on our notices, we are ready for a detailed discussion. We want the Adani issue to be taken up first," Kharge told reporters, asserting that the opposition is ready to speak on the President's Address.

The first demand of the opposition is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi give a reply on the issue, he said.

Kharge claimed the government does not want the matter to be raised or discussed in Parliament.

"They want to avoid it somehow and do not want to bring it to record," he said.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh later said it was surprising that the chair was rejecting notices by opposition members under Rule 267 again and again.

An amount of Rs 100 crore belonging to the common people has been lost and is this issue not important enough to be raised in Parliament, he asked.

"Does it not come under Rule 267," he asked, noting that it is surprising that the chairman is rejecting all notices by simply taking the same plea.

"We want to put our point across on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address. But, we want a reply from the prime minister in Parliament on the Adani issue, whereby lakhs of people have lost their crores. There should be a discussion on this issue. We are not going to backtrack till Narendra Modi ji himself does not answer," Singh told reporters.

He said 17 opposition parties on Monday decided that the Adani issue should be discussed in the House.

"All this is being played out to save only one person who is considered close to the prime minister," Singh alleged.

K Keshava Rao (BRS) also asked what is lacking in their notices under Rule 267. He said he has written to the chairman on this.

Congress MP and Whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore has given a notice for adjournment of the House for raising the issue.

"The House should come forward to discuss the matter keeping aside other routine business, and should constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee to investigate further this matter. The House should also direct the prime minister to disclose the actual loss of public money to the nation through this House," Tagore said in his adjournment notice.

Congress MP and Whip in Rajya Sabha Syed Naseer Hussain has also given a notice under Rule 267 for suspension of business to discuss the Adani issue.

"That this House do suspend Zero Hour and relevant rules relating to Question Hour and other businesses of the day to discuss the issue of fraud in investment by LIC, SBI, public sector banks and other financial institutions losing market value, endangering the hard-earned savings of crores of Indians," he said in the notice.

Congress MPs in Rajya Sabha Pramod Tiwari and Amee Yajnik have also given adjournment notices under Rule 267 to discuss the Adani issue and investments by LIC and SBI into the group.

BRS MPs in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have also given adjournment notices on the Adani issue.

While BRS leader in Rajya Sabha K Keshava Rao has moved a notice under Rule 267 in the upper house, party MP Nama Nageswara Rao has moved a notice in the Lok Sabha to discuss the issue.


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