Billionaire investor Geroge Soros has weighed in on the ongoing Adani-Hindenburg row stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is "silent" on the issue and will have to "answer questions from foreign investors and in parliament."
BJP was quick to lash out a the US tycoon stating that "George Soros an international entrepreneur has declared his ill-intention to intervene in democratic processes of India."
Soros in a speech on Thursday said that Gautam Adani is "accused of stock manipulation and his stock collapsed like a house of cards."
"Adani Enterprises tried to raise funds in the stock market but failed," Soros said.
Adani Group has been accused by US shortseller Hindenburg of engaging in "brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud" over decades, a claim that Adani Group has stoutly denied.
Terming Modi and Adani as "close allies," whose "fate is intertwined", the 92-year-old billionaire investor said, "This will significantly weaken Modi's stranglehold on India's federal government and open the door to push for much-needed institutional reforms."
"I may be naive, but I expect a democratic revival in India," Soros said in his remarks delivered at the 2023 Munich Security Conference.
US-based short seller, in its report on January 24, raised concerns about shares of Adani group companies having a possibility of declining from their current levels owing to high valuations, "brazen stock manipulation", and "accounting fraud", among others.
After the report came out, share prices of companies in the Adani Group dropped significantly.
The continued sell-offs in the group's stocks led its flagship firm, Adani Enterprises Limited, to cancel a fully subscribed Rs 20,000 crore follow-on public offer.
In its response the Adani Group, on January 29, in a long 413-page report, said the report by Hindenburg Research was not an attack on any specific company but a "calculated attack" on India, its growth story, and ambitions.
The Adani Group has attacked Hindenburg as "an unethical short seller" and stated that the report by the New York-based entity was "nothing but a lie".
The Adani-Hindenburg row was also raised in Parliament with Opposition parties disrupting proceedings in the recent Budget Session wit their demands for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the matter
Congress has written to Reserve Bank of India Governor and SEBI chairperson , in two separate letters, seeking an investigation on the allegations levelled against the Adani Group by Hindenburg Research.
Earlier on Monday, the central government informed the Supreme Court that SEBI is competent to handle the situation and it has agreed to constitute a committee to protect investor interests, following Hindenburg's report on Adani Group.
The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud that SEBI is completely equipped to deal with the situation and said that the government has no objection to appointing a committee to suggest ensuring investors are protected in the future.
However, he said that the remit of the committee is important since it has an effect internationally. He also said that the government will provide names in a sealed cover.
Last week, the Supreme Court sought a response from the Ministry of Finance and SEBI on how to ensure that Indian investors are protected in future against sudden volatility observing the recent crash due to the Hindenburg Research report.
Meanwhile, in his Thursday speech, Soros termed India India an interesting case of democracy. "PM Modi maintains close relations with both open and closed societies. India is a member of the Quad (which also includes Australia, the US, and Japan), but it buys a lot of Russian oil at a steep discount and makes a lot of money on it," Soros said.
The BJP attacked Soros as "a man who broke bank of England" and is "designated by nation an economic war criminal."
"The pronouncements made by George Soros need to be understood. He makes such pronouncements to demolish Indian democracy so that his handpicked people run the government in the country," BJP leader and union minister Smriti Irani said in a press conference today.
(With Inputs from ANI)