Citing a report by the London-based Financial Times, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has once again targeted the Adani Group on Wednesday, claiming that the Indian business giant was involved in a staggering coal purchasing scheme from Asian countries.
According to Gandhi, this scheme, which he describes as a "fraud," involves buying coal at inflated prices, ultimately leading to an upsurge in electricity costs across the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Delhi, Gandhi boldly declared, "In a report from the famous Financial Times, London, Now we know that Adani Group has committed another fraud of Rs 12,000 crore. So now the total corruption of the Adani Group stands at Rs 32,000 crore. They overinvoice their coal imports, and when the coal enters India, its price changes leading to surge in electricity prices. These Rs 12,000 crore are getting paid from the pocket of common masses."
Highlighting that the Congress party is already providing subsidies in Karnataka, Gandhi went on to say, “We are also ready to provide subsidies in Madhya Pradesh. No media has an interest in this story. No one is interested in asking questions from the Adani group. This cannot happen without protection being provided from Prime Minister. Adani buys coal in Indonesia, and by the time the coal arrives in India, its price doubles. Our electricity prices are going up."
Rahul Gandhi further contended that the Adani Group is essentially robbing the public. He asserted, "This time the theft is happening from the pockets of the public.When you push the button for a switch, Adani gets money in his pocket.Enquiry is happening in different countries, and people are asking questions, but nothing is happening in India.”
In a media statement issued last week, the Adani Group vehemently defended itself, accusing the UK-based Financial Times and its allies of attempting to revive old and unfounded allegations in an effort to tarnish the reputation of the Indian business conglomerate.
Adani Group's statement read, "Continuing their relentless campaign, the next attack is being fronted by Dan McCrum of the Financial Times, who jointly with the OCCRP put out a false narrative against the Adani Group on 31 August 2023. The OCCRP is funded by George Soros, who has openly declared his hostility against the Adani Group," the Adani Group statement said. Having failed earlier, the UK daily is making another effort to financially destabilise the Adani Group by raking up an old, baseless allegation of over-invoicing of coal imports,
The Adani Group highlighted that the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had already dismissed claims of over-valuation in coal imports for one of the mentioned importers, Knowledge Infrastructure, indicating that over-invoicing and price manipulation allegations were unfounded.
When questioned about his lack of inquiry into Sharad Pawar's meeting with Adani, despite the unity of the INDIA alliance on the Adani issue, Rahul Gandhi responded, "I have not asked Sharad Pawar, he is not the Prime Minister of India. Sharad Pawar is not protecting Adani, Mr Modi is and that's why I asked Mr Modi this question. If Sharad Pawar was sitting as PM of India and protecting Adani, then I would be asking Sharad Pawar this question"
Earlier this year, the American short seller Hindenburg Group launched an attack on the Adani Group, accusing them of accounting fraud, stock price manipulation, and dubious use of tax havens in a report released in January. Subsequently, the Adani Group's market value plummeted by nearly USD 150 billion.
Throughout this controversy, the Adani Group vehemently denied all allegations, dismissing the Hindenburg report as "unethical short selling" and labeling it a falsehood. A short-seller in the securities market profits from falling share prices.