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Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he did not ask Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar about his meetings with industrialist Gautam Adani because ‘Sharad Pawarji is not the Prime Minister of India’. Rahul Gandhi said this at a press conference where he accused PM Modi of protecting Adani citing a report by Financial Times which claimed that Adani buys coal from Indonesia and the price of it becomes double when it comes to India.
“No, I have not asked Sharad Pawar this question. Sharad Pawar is not the prime minister of India. Sharad Pawar is not protecting Mr Adani. Mr Modi is. And that’s why I have asked this question to Mr Modi, and not Sharad Pawar. If Mr Sharad Pawar were sitting at the chair of the prime minister and were protecting Adani, then I would be asking this question to Mr Sharad Pawar,” Rahul Gandhi said in a reply to a question from a journalist.
The statement comes as Sharad Pawar recently met Gautam Adani at the inauguration of a plant in Gujarat. Sharad Pawar’s closeness to Adani has thrown a spanner to the INDIA bloc’s demand for an investigation into Adani dealings. Questions were raised as to whether Rahul Gandhi spoke to Sharad Pawar on the issue of Adani. Rahul Gandhi clarified his stance on Sharad Pawar meeting Adani and said Sharad Pawar is not answerable as he is not the prime minister.
Citing the Financial Times’ recent report on the ‘mystery of Adani’s coal import’, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said electricity prices are going up in the country because of Adani. “Remember this when you switch on your fan or light, your money is going to Adani’s pockets through Adaniji’s overpricing. You are paying more for each unit. Remember the figure ₹32,000 crore. And this amount will only go up,” Rahul Gandhi said in a press conference. “This is not possible without PM Modi’s protection. There is no investigation. Why?” Rahul Gandhi said.
“Adaniji buys coal in Indonesia and when this coal reaches India, the price doubles. Thus Adani ji got ₹12,000 crore from the public by overinvoicing. We have given electricity subsidy in Karnataka, will do the same in Madhya Pradesh.. But the interesting thing is that Indian media is not raising any questions. The Financial Times story will bring down any government as it is a direct theft by a man, being protected again and again by the prime minister of India. I don’t understand why the prime minister does not speak on this. It is not possible without his protection,” Rahul Gandhi said.
“SEBI told the government that they did not get documents, but Financial Times got all the documents. So the matter is very clear that the protection is from the highest level of the government,” Rahul Gandhi said.
“Many other countries are investigating Adani, but India has given a blank cheque to Adani. Whatever he wants — electricity, port — he gets everything,” Raul Gandhi added.
“Questions are being raised about PM’s credibility. I am only trying to help PM Modi. He should come clean and start the investigation. Defend your credibility,” Rahul said.
Rahul Gandhi said Congres-ruled states that are giving subsidised electricity may look into the possibility of constituting state-level probes against Adani. “Bilkool karwayenge,” Rahul Gandhi said to a question as to whether Congress if voted to power in 2024 will probe against Adani. “This is not q question about Adani. This is about theft. And anyone who steals ₹32,000 crore should face the probe,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Poulomi Ghosh is a journalist with Hindustan Times, New Delhi.
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