Adani story incomplete without viewing business group’s rise as outcome of PM Modi’s patronage: CPI(M)

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New Delhi:  Alleging the “patronage” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi behind the growth of the Adani Group, the CPI(M) demanded on Thursday that regulatory bodies and law-enforcement agencies probe the charges leveled by Hindenburg Research against the Gujarat-based conglomerate under the Supreme Court’s supervision.

In the latest editorial in its mouthpiece, “People’s Democracy”, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has pointed out that a Hindenburg report has accused the Adani Group of having “engaged in brazen stock manipulation and accounting-fraud scheme”.

Hindenburg Research is a US-based investment research firm.

“The Adani story is incomplete without viewing the rise of India’s richest man as an outcome of the patronage and protection offered by Narendra Modi. The nexus between Modi and Adani began in 2002 when Modi became the chief minister of Gujarat.

“Since then, the fortunes of Adani became intimately linked to the political trajectory of Narendra Modi, who eventually reached Delhi as the prime minister in May 2014,” the editorial in “People’s Democracy” said.

The Gujarat-based business group is headed by industrialist Gautam Adani.

The CPI(M) said the “fraudulent dealings” of the Adani Group are of great concern to the people of India because over the years, what has been “looted” are the country’s natural resources and public funds.

“The Adani Group has become, thanks to the patronage of the Modi government, the largest private operator of ports, airports and the biggest in grain warehousing and controls a fifth of power transmission and the cement industry.

“It is the largest thermal power private producer in the country with large stakes in coal mining,” the Left party said.

It added that much of the business group’s acquisitions and assets have been facilitated by loans from nationalized banks and investments from institutions, such as the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).

The editorial further said funds amounting to around Rs 80,000 crore from the LIC have been invested in Adani Group companies and 40 percent of all loans taken by the business group from banks were through the State Bank of India.

“The crash in the share prices of the Adani Group companies is, therefore, a threat to the people’s savings and public funds.

“The meteoric rise of the Adani Group and its rapid expansion has not gone unquestioned in India. Over the years, many serious questions and accusations were leveled at the way in which Gautam Adani went about building his empire,” the editorial pointed out, adding, “But none of these found any response from the regulatory agencies like the SEBI and RBI or enforcement agencies like the ED.” Alleging that the “Modi-Adani nexus” symbolizes the “Hindutva-corporate alliance”, which is ruling the country today, the party claimed that the industrialist is confident that with the backing of the BJP-led government, he can weather the storm.

“But for the citizens of this country, who are seeing democracy being demolished and their livelihoods threatened by the communal-corporate nexus, it is essential that the Adanis be held accountable for the plunder and ill-gotten gains.

“It is, therefore, necessary to wage a determined struggle to see that the regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies investigate the entire financial and business activities of the Adani Group. A high-level investigation team must be constituted to go into the allegations leveled by Hindenburg Research against the Adani Group and it should be monitored by the Supreme Court,” it said.

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