New Delhi [India], February 8 (ANI): Amid repeated demands by members for an investigation into allegations against the Adani Group on Wednesday, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar quipped that it seemed that the clamour seemed to indicate that the Opposition wanted to set up a Joint Parliamentary Commmittee against him!
In an exchange with the Leader of Opposition (LoP) Mallikarjun Kharge who repeated his demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the Adani issue Dhankar said , "It seems you will set up a JPC on me."
Dhankhar also pulled up Kharge for making unsubstantiated charges against the government and asked him to authenticate allegations made by him.
Urging members to maintain decorum amid sloganeering by Opposition and ruckus in Rajya Sabha, the Chairman said, "This House cannot be a platform to level allegations. I call upon LoP Kharge to put documentation on record right now which respects to allegations involving the name of the PM."
"You use expressions that are not appropriate. I call upon you that we must work. I know you made some strong observations regarding me also a while ago. I can assure you, you bring on the table a huge experience, and I also bring on the table a modest experience. The debate in the house has to be on duly authenticated record. This House cannot be a platform for the free fall of information. One can't get anything one likes. Every allegation will have to be authenticated," Dhankar said.
After a chaos broke out inside the Upper House of the Parliament when Kharge mentioned the report by Hindenburg Research, Dhankhar said, "Are we supposed to believe any random report from any corner of the world? My suggestion is, let us believe in ourselves, our strengths, and our institutions."
Replying to the Motion of Thanks to the President Address, LoP Kharge hit out at the Narendra Modi government over unemployment and the rich-poor gap.
"Our responsible ministers, MPs doing Hindu-Muslim, don't they get any other subject. Scheduled Castes (SCs) are beaten up upon entering the temple, if they are considered Hindu why are not SCs allowed in the temple or allowed to be educated? Many ministers show off pictures of them eating at SCs homes," said Kharge.
He further questioned the PM Modi government over the Adani issue and said, "Wealth of one of the closest friends of PM Modi increased by 13 times in 2.5 years. In 2014 it was Rs 50,000 crore while in 2019 it became Rs 1 lakh crore. What magic happened that suddenly in two years assets worth Rs 12 lakh crores came, is it due to favour of friendship?"
Demanding a probe into the Hindenburg report, the Congress MP said, "If the Prime Minister is not scared of anything, why should he be scared of a joint parliamentary probe on the Adani- Hindenburg row."
Chairman Dhankhar intervened when Kharge was speaking and asked the MP to refrain from casting aspersions.
BJP MP Piyush Goyal also intervened and said that the minister should not make allegations he cannot substantiate. "Prime Minister Modi's association with Adani has "no basis whatsoever", he added.
Since the budget day, there has been no business that has been conducted in both Houses of Parliament with the opposition demanding a JPC on the Adani stock matter. Both the Houses had faced disruptions for the past three days over opposition demands concerning the Hidenburg-Adani row.
The Hindenburg-Adani row figured prominently in the debate with the opposition MPs pressing their demand for a probe by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.
The US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research came out with a report making allegations about stock manipulation and accounting fraud against Adani group firms. The Adani group has refuted the charges.
The Opposition parties had demanded discussion over investment by LIC, public sector banks, and financial institutions "in companies losing market value, endangering the savings of crores of Indians" following the Hindenburg Research report. (ANI)