Last week the Mahua Moitra shared a report that said ‘almost half (the Adani Group’s) $5.7bn in FDI… came from opaque overseas entities’.
Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra kept up her criticism of the government Monday over the Adani-Hindenburg row, citing a written reply from the union finance ministry to the Rajya Sabha that said data regarding offshore shell companies owned by Indian citizens is ‘unavailable’.
“How can the government take action against Adani? Finance Ministry does not know definition of shell firm! Written answer in RS says no clue… hence no action,” she tweeted, also sharing a photo of the proverbial ‘three wise monkeys’ and tagging finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Mahua Moitra and other opposition leaders have been relentless in attacks on the government since the Gautam Adani-led Adani Group was called out January by United States-based short seller Hindenburg Research for ‘accounting fraud’ and using offshore shell cos to inflate stock prices.
The Hindenburg report triggered a rout of Adani Group stocks and the Gujarat businessman’s personal fortune – to the tune of $120 billion+ and $28 million – and a row between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition.
The opposition has demanded an inquiry by a joint parliamentary committee but the government has refused an inquiry. This has left both Houses deadlocked since they restarted this month after the Budget session.
Mahua Moitra has been among the more vocal of opposition lawmakers on this topic; last week she called on the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax Department to investigate Hindenburg Research’s allegations off Adani’s offshore funding.
That tweet was after British publication Financial Times said India’s Foreign Direct Investment figures indicated offshore cos linked to the Adanis had invested $2.6 billion in the Adani Group from 2017 to 2022. This, the report said, was over 45 per cent of total FDI the country received in that time.
“Now are these related parties or unrelated parties?” Mahua Moitra tweeted.
Hindenburg’s Adani report has also been flagged vociferously by the Congress and Rahul Gandhi, who was last week disqualified from the Lok Sabha after a court in prime minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat convicted him of criminal defamation in the 2019 ‘Modi surname’ case.
Rahul Gandhi hit out at the government and said he had been disqualified because the prime minister is ‘scared’ of his next speech on the Adani controversy; the Congress’ leader’s fiery first speech – in which he claimed improper ties between the government and Adani – was expunged.