Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday lashed out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who has raised the pitch against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in relation to industrialist Gautam Adani.
Sitharaman called him a repeated offender. “It was the Congress government that gave on a platter the Vizhinjam port to Adani. It was not give non basis of any tender,” she said, adding that while it comes under the ambit of Kerala’s Left regime, why has Gandhi not demanded cancellation of the order.
Adani also has a significant presence in the Congress ruled Rajasthan. Last year, Adani announced a Rs 65,000 crore investment in Rajasthan aimed at setting up a massive 10,000MW solar power capacity while upgrading the Jaipur airport.
“Like the way in 2013 when (then) PM Manmohan Singh was outside the country, he came and tore the ordinance (over the disqualification of MPs), why doesn’t he tear up the Rajasthan agreement with Adani?” Sitharaman said.
The Guardian in February wrote that many have been pointing out that “Adani’s meteoric rise has mirrored that of another powerful man from Gujarat: Narendra Modi, who has been prime minister since 2014.”
But statistics reveals that Adani’s business growth has been as endowed during the UPA rule.
Take a look. On March 2, 1993, M/S Adani Exports converted into a limited company. In 2001, Adani Exports Ltd got into a 50:50 joint venture with Singapore based Wilmar Holding Pte. In 2006, Adani Exports was rechristened Adani Enterprises, which is now the flagship brand of the group. In 2009, the conglomerate forayed into the cements business. Thereafter Adani Power was launched in 2011—the same year when the group announced acquisition of the Abbot Point Port in Australia’s Queensland. The $2 billion deal was based on a 99-year lease.
Interestingly, in 2011, Adani Enterprises was also conferred the Business Superbrand award by Superbrands Council of India. The award was presented by none other than Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of the erstwhile Planning Commission. Superbrands, operating in 90 countries, is considered the largest independent arbiter of branding in the world. “Superbrands Status” strengthens a brand’s position, adds prestige and sets the brand apart from its competitors, its official website reads.
While in 2012, the conglomerate commissioned India’s largest solar power plant in Gujarat when Modi was chief minister of the state, in 2017, it acquired Adani Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. Its presence in the stock market expanded as well.
“Any political party would need investments from big industrialists –Congress did it, the BJP is doing it..state governments seek investments—so it is nothing abnormal,” a market expert said.
Following short seller Hindenburg’s report, on February 1, Adani Enterprises, which was slated to hit the Rs 20,000 crore follow on public offer (FPO), decided to withdraw it despite being fully subscribed.
“Industrialists will also protect their interest..hasnt Adani invested in Rajasthan?” he questioned.
However, many have jumped into attacking Modi for being close to Adani.
“This will significantly weaken Modi’s stranglehold on India’s s federal government and open the door to push for much need institutional reforms. I may be naïve but expect a democratic revival in India,” Soros, who is the founder of Open Society Foundations that allegedly promotes regime changes.
Meanwhile, CSLA Ltd which focuses on capital markets said that the country’s banking sector’s exposure to the group is less than 40 per cent of total debt of the group. The group’s exposure in private banks’ is below 10 per cent of total group debt. The report added that it had largely financed assets with strong cash flows such as airports and ports.
Earlier this year, the Adani Group finalized the takeover of Haifa Port in Israel for$1.15 billion. The port, which handles about 20 million tons of cargo passthrough annually, is strategically located. The move will allow Adani to set foot in the European port sector while tapping the Mediterranean region.
Also read: How globalists and their Indian surrogates have targeted Gautam Adani