After a panel appointed by the Supreme Court found that there was no regulatory failure concerning alleged price manipulations in Adani stocks, more hitjobs have emerged against the Adani group claiming that there are ‘hidden investors’ in the group. Today global left-wing media houses like the Financial Times and Guardian claimed that the Adani family secretly invested in the Adani group shares, calling it a ‘family linked to PM Modi’.
Expectedly, Kerala MP Rahul Gandhi used these reports to directly attack PM Narendra Modi, alleging that the prime minister was directly involved in this ‘scam’, and asked PM Modi to come clear on the issue. He also reiterated the Congress party’s demand for a JPC probe in the alleged share price manipulations of the Adani group.
However, Rahul Gandhi repeated several lies that have been debunked earlier, including the falsehood that a Chinese national is involved in the price manipulations.
Rahul Gandhi claimed that Indian money is sent abroad and that is used to buy Adani shares, which inflates the share price. He further claimed that the conglomerate is using this ‘inflated share price’ to ‘buy infrastructure’ in India. Adani Group has won bids to operate airports and ports and develop the Dharavi slum in Mumbai, but according to Rahul Gandhi, this means Adani is buying those properties.
Rahul Gandhi alleged that Gautam Adani’s brother Vinod Adani is behind the ‘price manipulations’, and two foreigners, Nasser Ali Shaban Ahli and Chang Chung-Ling ‘from China’ are his business partners. The Congress leader asked how a ‘Chinese national’ is involved in Adani when the Adani group is infrastructure development and defence deals.
The Congress leader further made a grave allegation that a SEBI official was made the director of Adani-owned NDTV because SEBI gave a clean chit to Adani in price manipulation charges. He was referring to the appointment of Former SEBI Chairman UK Sinha as an Independent Director and Non-Executive Chairperson of NDTV.
He mentioned the words ‘foreign newspaper’ several times, implying that if foreign newspapers are claiming something, that must be true, even if SEBI and the Supreme Court-appointed committee find nothing wrong.
He made the bizarre claim that 1 billion Dollars went out of India, inflated Adani Group’s share price, and that price was used to buy infrastructure. Rahul Gandhi said that India’s reputation is at stack when the country is hosting the G20 summit, and alleged that PM Modi is protecting only one person and only one company is buying all of India’s assets.
Rahul Gandhi made several false charges during his press conference. The biggest lie was that a Chinese national was involved with the Adani group. The fact is, that Chang Chung-Ling is a citizen of Taiwan, and he is not a Chinese national. China claims Taiwan to be its territory, but the fact remains that Taiwan is a separate independent country. Calling a Taiwanese man Chinese is supporting the Chinese claim on Taiwan.
It is true that Chang Chung-Ling is involved in a company called PMC Projects, which has links with the Adani group. But as Taiwan has friendly relations with India, there is nothing wrong if a Taiwanese national on a valid visa works for an Indian company. Interestingly, the Financial Times mention that Chang Chung-Ling is from Taiwan, and the Guardian does not mention his nationality, but Rahul Gandhi kept claiming that he is Chinese.
Moreover, in the Hindenburg report, it was alleged that the PMC project did nothing and it was just a front of the Adani Group to route money. The report says that there are no signs that “PMC Projects does anything separate and apart from functioning as an arm of the Adani Group”. In fact, a probe by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in 2014 had also found that PMC Projects was a “dummy firm” used by the Adani Group. There is no evidence of any infrastructure work done by PMC, with which Chang Chung-Ling is involved.
A look into the works carried out by the Adani group also shows that PMC project is not involved with any infrastructure project. The company only had investments in mutual funds of an approximate value of Rs 6 crore in 2021, clearly not enough to win bids for any major project. But Rahul Gandhi has been alleging that the ‘Chinese-owned company’ has been building critical infrastructure like ports, airstrips, railway tracks and electricity lines, which is nothing but a big lie.
Rahul Gandhi’s claims that some Indian family used their own money to inflate the share prices of Adani enabling the company to ‘buy assets’ is also completely baseless and makes no sense. First, Adani Enterprises and its subsidiaries have not bought any assets, they have won bids to build and operate infrastructure projects. Plus, they have not won every project they bid for, they have lost tenders too, which is normal. For example, Adani had lost an important coal import tender by CIL, and another coal tender it had won was also cancelled. But Rahul Gandhi keeps talking about a few projects won by the Adani group outbidding others to claim that Adani is buying Indian assets.
Rahul Gandhi alleged that Former SEBI Chairman UK Sinha was made NDTV director because SEBI gave a clean chit to Adani. But UK Sinha retired as SEBI Chairman in February 2017, and there is no report of any clan chit given by SEBI to Adani during his term. Moreover, SEBI has not given any clean chit to Adani group, and it is still probing the allegations of price manipulations. It is SEBI that has got a clean chit from the Supreme Court-appointed committee, which concluded that there on failure on the part of SEBI. But for some reason, Rahul Gandhi is calling it clean chit to Adani, and then claiming that a former SEBI chairman who had nothing to with the probe was ‘rewarded’ for the clean chit that does not exist.
Notably, just a few days ago, OpIndia had predicted that Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) is planning a shakedown of India’s financial markets, following the footsteps of US-based short seller ‘Hindenburg Research’. OCCRP is funded by the likes of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF), the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, groups with history of funding anti-India activities.
Interestingly, before the press conference of Rahul Gandhi began, OCCRP posted on X that Rahul Gandhi would be holding a press conference based on its report.
In response to our latest investigation, @RahulGandhi, a leader of India’s largest opposition party, will hold a press conference about the Adani Group, one of India’s top conglomerates. It is scheduled for 5 p.m. IST.
Watch live: https://t.co/pTGwkWOAlS
— Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (@OCCRP) August 31, 2023
The group tweeted, “In response to our latest investigation, @RahulGandhi, a leader of India’s largest opposition party, will hold a press conference about the Adani Group, one of India’s top conglomerates. It is scheduled for 5 p.m. IST.” with a link to YouTube link of the event.