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JPC to be set up after INDIA bloc govt formation to probe ‘Adani scam’: Congress

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New Delhi, May 22: The Congress on Wednesday attacked the Modi government over a media report that claimed that the Adani Group passed off low-quality coal as far more expensive cleaner fuel in transactions with a Tamil Nadu PSU, and said that a JPC will be set up within one month of an INDIA bloc government taking office to probe such allegations.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi claimed that a “huge coal scam” has come to light under the BJP government and through this “scam”, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s favourite friend Adani” has looted thousands of crores of rupees by selling low-grade coal at three times the price, which the common people have paid from their pockets in expensive electricity bills.

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There was no immediate reaction from the Adani group but in the past, the conglomerate has rejected all such allegations.

Financial Times, citing documents secured by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), reported that Adani Group passed off low-quality coal as far more expensive cleaner fuel in transactions with the public sector Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO).

In a post in Hindi on X, Gandhi said, “Will the Prime Minister tell how many tempos were used to keep ED, CBI, and IT quiet on this open corruption? After June 4, an INDIA bloc government will investigate this mega scam and account for every penny looted from the public.”

In a statement, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said as the election momentum of the INDIA coalition accelerates, the tempo of revelations about the ‘Modani Mega Scam’ has also picked up.

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“An investigation by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), reported by the Financial Times newspaper, has found that dozens of shipments of low-quality, high-ash coal bought cheaply by Adani from Indonesia in 2014 were sold fraudulently at three times the price to the public sector Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) as high-quality, low-ash coal,” Ramesh said.

Adani made excess profits of Rs 3,000 crore from this while the common person was made to suffer overpriced electricity and elevated air pollution, Ramesh alleged.

“This is yet another example of the impunity with which the PM’s close friends have enriched themselves in the past decade by violating the law and exploiting the most vulnerable Indians as they are left to struggle for basic needs like cheap electricity and clean air,” he said.

Pointing out that air pollution kills 20 lakh Indians every year, Ramesh said, “‘Amrit Kaal’ for the PM and his cronies is ‘Vish Kaal’ for everyone else”.

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He alleged that the prime minister may have helped Adani to stall all the investigations carried out into its illicit activities in India, but the information pouring in from Indonesia and other countries has only shown how close those investigations were to unveiling the truth before PM Modi “bailed out his partner”.

“The case to permit the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence to investigate Adani’s coal over invoicing has languished in the Supreme Court, but the OCCRP documents show exactly how the over-invoicing and money laundering has occurred for years under the noses of India’s usually overactive investigative agencies,” he said.

Ramesh said previous OCCRP investigations have shown how much of the coal over-invoicing has been masterminded by Adani associates Nasser Ali Shaban Ahli and Chang Chung-Ling.

“The proceeds of their crimes have been used to amass illegal stakes in Adani Group companies and to pump up their stock values. It is a matter of public record how other business persons similarly accused of over-invoicing coal, and that too in much smaller amounts, have been arrested without bail and had their properties attached by the ED. But Modani suffers no consequences,” Ramesh said.

All this will change when the INDIA bloc government takes office next month, Ramesh said.

“A joint parliamentary committee will be set up within one month to investigate the ‘Modani Mega Scam’ — the illegal over-invoicing of coal and power equipment, the laundering of Rs 20,000 crore of illegal proceeds back into Adani companies, the manner in which the Modi regime forced Indian businesses to divest their assets to Adani and the cost that Indian consumers have paid in high electricity prices and airport fees to enrich the PM’s cronies. Each and every element of the Adani Mod(i)us Operandi will be thoroughly investigated,” he said. (PTI)

 

 

 

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