BJP Govt has shown favoritism to Adani Group: Uttam in Lok Sabha

Hyderabad, February 9: Reiterating the demand for the constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe into the allegations against Adani Group, Congress MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy blasted the Modi Govt for crony capitalism by handing over national assets to industrialist Gautam Adani.

Speaking on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address in Lok Sabha on Wednesday night, Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that favoritism has been done by the BJP Govt to the Adani Group. Citing examples, he said when the bidding for six airports at Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Mangalore, Jaipur, Guwahati, and Thiruvananthapuram was done, the NITI Aayog and Finance Ministry had seriously objected to bidders such as Adani Group who had no prior airport management experience. They also advised that no more than two airports be given to one company. However, on the instruction of the power that is, all rules were tweaked and all six airports were given to the Adani Group. The existing guidelines were ignored to award Adani six airports for 50 years while earlier concession agreements for airports used to be for 30 years, he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 22nd May 2014 till now, Gautam Adani has been given 12 ports and terminals, eight airports, 14 city gas distribution licenses, 27 transmission lines, thousands of megawatts of power projects, defense contracts, and numerous other government projects. “In several cases, arm twisting was done to force the present promoters of ports and airports to sell off their stakes to Adani. Is it in the country’s interest that 30% of all air and sea traffic cargo is now routed through Adani’s airports and sea ports,” he alleged.

The Congress MP pointed out that the Hindenburg report has accused the Adani family members of operating offshore shell companies in tax havens such as Mauritius, the Caribbean Islands, and the UAE. Such companies were used to overvalue the shares by as much as 1,000% and based on them, huge loans were borrowed from the market, he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that following the exposure made by the Hindenburg, the market capitalization of all 10 Adani Group stocks fell by over 51% with investors losing over RS. 10 lakh crore in just seven trading sessions. However, he said that the Finance Ministry did not react and the Stock Exchange Board of India (SEBI) did not step in. “In much smaller cases of corporate misgovernance in the past, Satyam Computers and IL&FS were taken over by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The Reserve Bank of India intervened in comparatively smaller financial misdemeanors by the Global Trust Band and Yes Bank. But why are all the Central agencies in silent mode when the world’s biggest scam is unraveling?” he asked while reiterating the demand that a Joint Parliamentary Committee or a Supreme Court-monitored probe be ordered immediately.

“Why was domestic manufacturing of Rafale assigned to Ambani, not HAL?”

Speaking about the Defence Sector, the Congress MP reminded that he was a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force. “I have flown Rafale Class aircraft of those years on the China and Pakistan borders. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement the other day at the HAL function was aimed at confusing the country. There was no clarity on why Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) was not given the offset contract for Rafale manufacturing and why it was given to inexperienced Anil Ambani’s company. The HAL has manufactured several fighter aircraft such as MIG-21, Jaguar, Sukhoi-30, Tejas, etc., Why did the Modi Govt not negotiate technology transfer on the domestic manufacture of Rafale in HAL?” he asked.

“The Agniveer scheme, as an ex-serviceman, I can say that is an ill-conceived scheme. It is not in the interest of the armed forces and national security. It is very strange that when India is fighting a two-front war with China and Pakistan, there is a shortage of defense personnel. The Army, Navy, and Air Force are facing a manpower shortage of about 1.5 lakh officers and soldiers. The Air Force is having a 15-20 percent shortage of fighter pilots,” he said.

“Modi Govt cheated farmers on MSP Guarantee Law”

Speaking about agriculture, Uttam Kumar Reddy that the President’s claim in her Address of Central Govt giving priority to Agriculture was factually incorrect. There has been a year-on-year decrease in the budget spending by the BJP Govt on the Agriculture & Allied Sectors. From 3.8% of the total budget in the year 2022-23, the allocations for Agriculture and Allied Sectors in 2023-24 have been reduced to 3.1%. Similarly, the number of beneficiaries of Fasal Bima Yojna and PM Kisan Samman Nidhi has been reduced compared to last year. He also accused the Modi Govt of cheating the farmers of India on the assurance of the MSP Guarantee Law.

The Congress MP said that Modi Govt, in the year 2016, had promised to double the farmers’ income by 2022. This was also mentioned in the President’s Joint address in 2018, 2019, and 2020. While farmers’ income did not increase, the input costs like fertilizers, diesel, and labor have shot up over the last few years. “We demand that the MSP Guarantee Law be introduced immediately, ” he demanded.

“Modi Govt doing huge injustice with Telangana”

Uttam Kumar Reddy also accused the Modi Govt of doing a massive injustice to Telangana. He said the BJP Govt did not honor the Presidential Notification issued at the time of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014. “Injustice has been done to Telangana by the BJP Govt in not fulling the assurances given like the establishment of a railway coach factory at Kazipet, a steel plant at Bayyaram, a Tribal University, AIIMS at Bibinagar, the Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) in Hyderabad and all other assurance given to Telangana,” he said. The Congress MP also demanded that Boya Valmikis and Kaita Lambadas be included in the ST list. Further, he said that the categorization of Scheduled Castes is left to the State. “On behalf of the people of Andhra Pradesh, I demand the scrapping of the move for the privatization of Vizag Steel Plant,” he said. (Maxim News)

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