Indian opposition leader accuses Modi of having ties to Adani . Group
NEW DELHI –
India’s top opposition leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he was being targeted because he had raised serious questions about the relationship. Modi’s relationship with Indian business conglomerate Adani Group.
Gandhi said the goal of his expulsion from Congress on Friday was to prevent him from speaking before the legislature about his accusations of funneling US$3 billion of unknown origin into shell companies. owned by the Adani Group, headed by Gautam Adani.
“Some of these defense companies are working on developing drones and missiles as well as manufacturing weapons. Why isn’t the Department of Defense asking questions,” he said.
Gandhi was expelled from Parliament a day after a court convicted him of defamation and sentenced him to two years in prison for mocking the last name Modi during a campaign speech.
The actions against Gandhi, the great-grandson of India’s first prime minister, have been widely condemned by Modi’s opponents as the latest attacks against democracy and free speech by a ruling government. authorities are seeking to suppress dissent. The removal of Gandhi from politics has dealt a blow to the opposition party he leads ahead of next year’s national elections.
Gandhi said he was not bothered about losing his seat in Parliament. “My job is to protect the institutions of the country and the voice of the people,” he added.
A court in the western Indian city of Surat also sentenced him to two years in prison on Thursday. But he won’t go to jail right away because the court has granted him 30-day bail to file an appeal against the sentence.
The court convicted Gandhi in a 2019 speech in which he asked, “Why do all the thieves take the last name Modi?” Gandhi then mentioned three famous and unrelated Modis in his speech: a runaway Indian diamond tycoon, a cricket executive banned from the Indian Premier League, and the prime minister.
On Saturday, Gandhi did not say how long his legal team would approach an appeals court seeking to overturn his sentence so he could retain his seat in Parliament.
He accused Modi of helping Adani Group get contracts in India, Sri Lanka and Australia.
He also alleges that a Chinese national was involved in investments in Adani shell companies. “Why is no one questioning who this Chinese citizen is,” he said. “Nobody knows where this money is coming from. Adani can’t generate this money.”
Gandhi asked for an investigation by a congressional committee following a report by Hindenburg Research, a US financial research firm, accusing the Adani Group of manipulating stock prices and rigging billions of dollars. The Adani Group has denied any wrongdoing and the Modi government has not accepted the parliament’s call for an investigation.
Immediately after Gandhi’s press conference, Ravi Shankar Prasad, the top leader of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, denied Gandhi’s accusations and said his removal from Parliament had nothing to do with the Group’s controversy. Adani.
Since Mr. Modi became prime minister in 2014, Adani’s net worth has increased by nearly 2,000% to $125 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He briefly surpassed Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to become the world’s second-richest person briefly in September after the value of his seven listed companies skyrocketed.
Adani’s businesses have won contracts worth billions of dollars to build ports, highways and power plants. The industrialist’s ambitions include developing drones and ammunition, key to the government’s goal of boosting military-related exports to $5 billion while cutting import costs. expensive.