Rai said that according to the “Crime in India 2022” report published by the National Crime Records Bureau, atrocities against Dalits have increased manifold compared to previous years.
In a fresh salvo against billionaire business Gautam Adani, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday accused the Adani Group of swindling around Rs 12,000 crore public money by over-invoicing in coal imports. The BJP then counterattacked him with the National Herald case and said looting public money is the goal of the Congress.
Citing a report published in the Financial Times, one of the pre-eminent financial newspapers in the world, he said it has been clearly mentioned about “Adani and the mysterious coal price rises.”
The Congress MP from Kerala’s Wayanad vowed to initiate a probe into the case if his party comes to power in the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
Flashing a copy of the paper during a news conference at the Congress headquarters, the Congress leader said, “The price of coal that Mr Adani buys in Indonesia is doubled by the time it reaches India resulting in our electricity prices going up. This way he made approximately Rs 12,000 crore at the cost of the poorest in India.”
Gandhi, who had earlier questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Rs 20,000 crore in the wake of damning revelations about Adani Groups dealings by a Hindenburg Research report, said, “Earlier, we had asked the government about Rs 20,000 crore. Now, with the addition of Rs 12,000 crore the total amount has come to Rs 32,000 crore. We now would ask whose money it was.”
Earlier this year, Hindenburg Research reported that the Adani Group had been involved in stock manipulation and accounting fraud. Ever since the Congress has spearheaded a campaign for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe into the Adani’s deals even as the Adani Group vehemently refuted the allegations.
Taking a swipe at the prime minister, the Congress MP said, “We are giving electricity subsidies in Karnataka, and going to do so in Madhya Pradesh (if voted to power). Mr Adani is over-invoicing coal and stealing directly from the people of India. Why doesn’t the prime minister reply to this? Why is no action being taken against this gentleman (read Adani)?”
“This cannot happen without the connivance of the prime minister of India. It is impossible,” he added.
“This episode would have brought down any government. It is a direct theft by a man, who has been [protected] by the prime minister of India … protected again, and again, and again. It raises questions about the credibility of the prime minister. I am trying to help the prime minister. I am telling the prime minister to come clean, institute an investigation and defend his credibility.”
To a query whether the Congress will order a probe into the case if voted to power in the 2024 general elections, Gandhi’s answer was: “We will initiate a probe against Adani. This issue is not about Adani, it’s about Rs 32,000 crore robbed from the people of the country.”
On being questioned about the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief’s recent meeting with Adani, he said, “Sharad Pawar is not the prime minister of India. He is not protecting Mr Adani; Mr Modi is, and that is the reason why I have asked Mr Modi this question. If Mr Sharad Pawar was the prime minister of India, and if he was protecting Mr Adani, then I would have posed the same questions to Mr Pawar.”
BJP hits back
After Gandhi’s allegations, the BJP hit back at the Congress MP and said the only goal of the grand old party is to “loot” public money. BJP national spokesman Gaurav Bhatia said, “Looting public money is the goal of the Congress, and the will to serve the public is not in its DNA.”
Referring to the National Herald case, Bhatia, taking a swipe at the Gandhi family said, “Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are out on bail on corruption charges. He won’t speak on the National Herald scam.”
In an apparent reference to the forthcoming assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram, the spokesman said, “Elections are a great festival in democracy, but the Congress and its ministers are trying to vitiate it with black money.”