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Visual from Rajya Sabha (Photo/ANI)
Visual from Rajya Sabha (Photo/ANI)

Opposition parties seek JPC probe into Hidenburg-Adani row, Congress to protest outside LIC offices on Feb 6

ANI | Updated: Feb 02, 2023 22:36 IST

New Delhi [India], February 2 (ANI): The two Houses of Parliament faced adjournments on Wednesday with the opposition parties insisting on a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the row over report by a US-based short seller Hidenburg Research which has made allegations against some companies of Adani group and the subsequent stock crash.
Both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha faced adjournments as the opposition sought to raise the issue while the government urged the members to take up discussion on the motion of thanks to the President's Address.
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were first adjourned till 2 pm and later for the day. Opposition members had given notices for suspension of business to discuss the issue.
Members of Congress and some other opposition parties interacted with the media at Vijay Chowk and dubbed the stock crash a "Maha ghotala (scam) in Amrit Kaal" while questioning the government's "silence" over the issue.
The Congress later said it will hold nationwide district-level protest on February 6 in front of Life Insurance Corporation Offices and State Bank of India offices.
Opposition leaders also slammed the government over the rejection of their suspension of notices to discuss the issue.
Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge led the attack on the Centre and demanded an investigation into the matter under the supervision of CJI or through Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).
"Either a Joint Parliamentary Committee or a team under the supervision of the CJI of the Supreme Court should investigate this," Kharge said.
Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh accused the government of silence on the issue saying that public sector institutions have lost money in stock crash.
"Why is the Modi government silent on such a huge scam. All those who invested money in Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and SBI for their needs are worried. This is the Maha ghotala (scam) in Amrit Kaal," he said.
Singh demanded the government hold a discussion on the issue in the House.
Samajwadi Party MP Ram Gopal Yadav alleged that the people who have invested in the LIC and kept money in the banks are "scared".
"People who have invested in LIC or have money deposited in banks are scared. We are fighting for the people," he said.
Referring to Adani stocks, Bharat Rashtra Samithi MP K Keshava Rao said, "What can be a more serious issue than this? If the stocks crash by 27 per cent in one day, that means that man loses his credibility."
Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen demanded a proper inquiry into the matter so that the truth can come to the fore," he said.
Like-minded opposition parties held a meeting in Parliament before the commencement of the day's proceedings to discuss their strategy for the day.
Congress MP Manish Tewari said a JPC probe is needed as the question is not about one promoter but efficacy of regulatory system.
"We demand an investigation by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the issue. We will raise the demand inside the Parliament. If the government doesn't accept our demand, we will take appropriate steps. The question is not only about one promoter but about the efficacy of the entire regulatory system," Tewari said.
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi appealed to the Opposition to run the House smoothly.
"We have to run the House smoothly. A good budget has been presented under the guidance of PM Modi. If they have constructive suggestions about the President's Address, they should give. I urge them to run the House smoothly and put forth their arguments," he said.
In Rajya Sabha, opposition members gave notice under Rule 267 for an immediate discussion.
Kharge said they had sought discussion on the issue of investment by LIC, public sector banks, and financial Institutions in companies losing market value.
He read out the notice at the joint press Congress. "That this House do suspend Zero Hour and relevant rules relating to Question Hour and other businesses of the day to discuss the issue of investment by LIC, Public Sector Banks, and Financial Institutions in companies losing market value, endangering the hard-earned savings of crores of Indians."
"This was our notice, we wanted a discussion" he said.
The winter session of Parliament began on January 31 with address by President Droupadi Murmu to the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament.
The Union Budget was presented on February 1. The budget session will be held in two parts with the first part ending on February 13.
The government's agenda for the first half includes adoption of motion of thanks to the President's Address and discussion on the union budget. The second part will begin on March 13 and will continue till April 6.
The Congress said it will hold nationwide district-level protest on February 6 in front of Life Insurance Corporation Offices and State Bank of India offices.
Party general secretary KC Venugopal said in a statement that the LIC has invested a total of 36,474.78 crore in Adani Group.
"Whereas Indian Banks together have invested a sum of nearly 80,000 crores in the same. And they continue to do so even when there is allegations of stock manipulation, accounting fraud and other malfeasance. The group has lost 100 billion dollars since the expose," the statement said.
Congress said that amidst all around gloom due to unprecedented unemployment, uncontrolled inflation and economic distress, the Modi Government was expected to present a budget which addressed these urgent concerns of the people.
The party accused the government of being "characteristically insensitive and callous".
"Rather than acting to safeguard people's interest and stop the squandering and loot of public money, is still singlemindedly bent on helping PM Modi's friends, blatantly throwing all caution and prudence to the wind," Venugopal said.
"The Congress Party is also demanding a JPC probe or an enquiry under the supervision of the Chief Justice of India in the humongous Adani scam, involving hundreds of thousand crores of public money," he added.
The parties are expected to continue pressing their demand for a JPC probe when the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha meet on Friday. (ANI)