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Kharge targets Centre, demands JPC probe on Adani

New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Amid interruptions from the ruling party MPs and the chair, Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of Opposition attacked the Central government over the demand for a probe by the joint parliamentary committee in the Adani case even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seated in the House.

Kharge said, “There should be a joint parliamentary committee probe in the Adani row… when the government is not afraid of anything then constitute a JPC.”

While attacking the PM, Kharge alleged, “Wealth of one of the closest friends of the Prime Minister increased by 12 times in the last two and half years. In 2014 it was Rs 50,000 crore group while in 2019 it became Rs 1 lakh crore group, but what ‘jadu’ (magic) happened that suddenly in two years assets worth Rs 12 lakh crore came…whether it is due to the favour of friendship.”

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reacted sharply and said, “It is a very smart thing to say… We are giving data and we will corroborate it, but it is completely infused with insinuation against the Prime Minister and that is what we are objecting to. They are overtly insinuating the PM.”

While the chair asked for authentication, he said that there should be discussion in national interest. To this Kharge was furious, and said, “I speak the truth, is it anti-national? I am not anti-national and more patriotic than anyone here as I am ‘bhoomi-putra’. You are looting the country and telling me that I am an anti-national.”

Kharge alleged, “The responsible ministers, MPs are always Hindu-Muslim always and don’t get any other subject… Scheduled Castes people are beaten up upon entering temples, if they are considered Hindus why then the Scheduled Caste people are not allowed in temples or be educated…Many ministers show pictures of them eating at Scheduled Caste houses. Is that any achievement…”

During the motion of thanks on the President’s Address in the Rajya Sabha, Kharge said that “one person became rich as his wealth increased 12 times from 2019”, which drew objections from the Chair and treasury bench.

However, the chair and the treasury benches objected to it.

Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar said, “You are insinuating the Prime Minister which can’t be allowed… Any report from any corner of the world cannot be quoted here.”

Kharge had mentioned the Hindenburg report while attacking the government.

Even the leader of the House, Piyush Goyal said that LoP casting aspersions on the Prime Minister was unacceptable.

While BJP’s Sushil Modi raised the point of order that any allegations made, a notice should be given in advance which the chair will validate.

The Finance Minister too said, “The LoP is insinuating the Hon’ble Prime Minister.”

The Congress members said that they have not taken the name of the Prime Minister.

The LoP, however, continued tirade against the Adani Group.

He said that the group is taking money from the public sector banks and purchasing the public sector undertakings. “Privatisation is also diminishing the reservation system which they could have got in the PSUs,” said Kharge.