‘Are you afraid?’ Rahul Gandhi taunts Narendra Modi for his Adani-Ambani remark

On May 8, in a rare criticism against Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, Modi alleged that Rahul Gandhi received money from these two billionaires.
‘Are you afraid?’ Rahul Gandhi taunts Narendra Modi for his Adani-Ambani remark
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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday, May 8, dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to conduct an investigation against Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani through CBI and ED if they were indeed involved in corruption. The Congress leader was reacting to Modi’s speech in Telangana in which he claimed that Rahul Gandhi stopped speaking against Adani-Ambani during the election after allegedly receiving money from them.

Addressing a rally in Karimnagar district, Telangana, in a rare criticism against Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, Modi alleged, “After abusing Adani and Ambani for five years, Congress stopped abusing them as soon as the elections started. The fact that Congress has stopped means that the stolen money has reached Congress. They [Congress] should declare how much cash has been taken from them, and how many sacks of black money loaded in tempos have reached the party. What deal has been made?,” he asked.

Promptly responding to these allegations, Rahul Gandhi took to social media and said, “Modi ji are you afraid a little? Normally you talk about Adani and Ambani behind closed doors. And now, for the first time you have taken the names of Adani and Ambani in public.” 

In a sarcastic reply, Rahul Gandhi asked how did Narendra Modi know that these two billionaires send money through tempos (goods carrier). “Is this your personal experience?” he asked. Rahul Gandhi challenged Modi to conduct a thorough inquiry against Adani and Ambani using CBI and ED, if the allegations were true. Insinuating that Adani and Ambani were in nexus with Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi said, “How much ever money Narendra Modi gave to them, the same amount we will distribute among the poor people of India through schemes like Mahalakshmi Yojana.”   

In the past, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into allegations of irregularities in the Adani Group’s use of offshore funds, and questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "uncomfortable silence" claiming that India’s reputation is at stake. “Why is this one gentleman who is close to the Prime Minister allowed to move a billion dollars to pump up his share price, to use that money to capture Indian assets, airports, ports? Why is no investigation taking place?,” he had asked.

The remarks were made after an OCCRP (Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) report, dismissed by the Adani group, alleged that "opaque" funds were used to funnel substantial investments into the publicly traded stocks of the Adani Group, purportedly masking the involvement of business partners associated with the Adani family.

Following the Hindenburg report on Adani group, the Supreme Court (SC) had asked the Union government and the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to explain what steps they are taking to prevent investors’ loss in future. It is to note that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) found that the Adani Group had syphoned off approximately Rs 6,278 crore abroad through “gross over-valuation” in the import of machinery and infrastructure material, a fact which SEBI was aware of.

The Union government had also granted international airport status for 12 days to Jamnagar airport in Gujarat, from February 25 to March 6, on account of Indian billionaire Anant Ambani’s pre-wedding celebrations, according to an RTI reply by Airports Authority of India. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had questioned the move and pointed out that the area was sensitive to defence concerns. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was keen to help out his “rich industrialist friends” while ignoring the needs of ordinary citizens.

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