Opposition parties have alleged that the recent meltdown in Adani Group shares is a scam.
Both houses of the parliament were adjourned for the day amid loud protests and sloganeering from opposition parties demanding a discussion on alleged frauds in investment by public sector institutions like LIC and SBI, causing loss in market value.
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Opposition parties will cooperate with the proceedings tomorrow, when the debate on Motion of Thanks on President's Address will also finally begin, sources said. The government had earlier insisted that the opposition should allow the customary address, to which Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, said that the opposition is ready to speak on it, but the "first priority" is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi give a reply on the ongoing Hindenburg-Adani row. The discussion was scheduled to be taken up in both houses today.
Following a meeting at Mr Kharge's chamber in the parliament building, a united opposition had decided to raise the demand for discussion on the report by US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research on Adani Group companies, and a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe, in both the houses, sources said. They decided to not allow any other business in the parliament on Monday, sources further said.
Opposition parties have alleged that the recent 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.
Parties that were present in Mr Kharge's chamber for the opposition meeting to chalk out a strategy on allegations of fraud against the Adani Group, which has tanked the stock market, included Congress, MK Stalin's DMK, Sharad Pawar-led NCP, K Chandrashekar Rao's Bharat Rashtra Samithi, Nitish Kumar's JD(U), Samajwadi Party, CPI(M), CPI, Kerala Congress (Jose Mani), JMM, RLD, RSP, AAP, IUML, RJD, and Shiv Sena.
Congress MP and Whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore has given a notice for adjournment of the house for raising the isue of loss ofpublic money. "The House should come forward to discuss the matter keeping aside other routine business, and should constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee to investigate further in this matter. The House should also direct the Prime Minister to disclose the actual loss of public money to the nation through this House," Mr 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 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 frauds 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.
On Friday, both parliament houses were adjourned without any work as opposition parties remained firm on a call for a discussion and an investigation into market exposure of public sector institutions. Leaders of the 16 opposition parties, who met today, had met at Mr Kharge's chambers on Friday as well, a day after both houses of parliament were adjourned early, without getting any work done, amid calls for a probe.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had denied their requests, asking members "not to make unsubstantiated claims" while Rajya Sabha chairperson, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, rejected all motions by the opposition, saying they were "not in order".
Gautam Adani's ports-to-energy business empire, which counts the state-run Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and the State Bank of India (SBI) among key investors, has lost more than $100 billion in value since the charges were made public.
The Adani Group's finance chief has called the Hindenburg report a "malicious combination of selective misinformation and stale, baseless and discredited allegations that have been tested and rejected by India's highest courts".
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