Amit Shah refuted accusations of crony capitalism and advised the opposition to go to court if they had evidence of the Modi administration “favouring” Gautam Adani. The home minister responded on Tuesday to accusations from the opposition that his party was favouring the conglomerate challenged by a U.S. short seller by saying that there was “nothing to conceal or be scared of” regarding the situation surrounding the Adani Group.
The seven listed businesses bearing the name of billionaire Gautam Adani have collectively lost over $120 billion in market value since a Hindenburg Research study on January 24 alleging inappropriate use of offshore tax havens and stock manipulation. Gautam Adani is the head of the business house. Hindenburg has been warned with legal action by the Adani company, which has refuted the accusations. “The Supreme Court has taken cognisance of the matter. As a minister, if the Supreme Court is seized of the matter it is not right for me to comment,” Amit Shah, widely considered the most powerful politician in India after Modi, told the ANI news agency.
“But in this, there is nothing for the BJP to hide and nothing to be afraid of,” Shah added, referring to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). In response to accusations of crony capitalism, he advised the opposition to take their case to court. In a challenge to Modi ahead of a number of state elections this year and federal elections next year, the Adani problem has halted parliament, provoked public protests by the opposition, set off probes by regulators, and dragged on the global markets.
Rivals, notably the dominant opposition Congress party, charge that Modi and the BJP have long-standing links to the apples-to-airports Adani business that date back to over two decades, when Modi was Gujarat’s chief minister. Shah and Gautam Adani are both natives of the same state. However, based on approval ratings, Modi’s enormous popularity looks to be unaffected for the time being. Despite opposition members chanting “Adani, Adani,” Modi said in parliament last week that the “blessings of 1.4 billion people in the country are my protective shield and you can’t ruin it with falsehoods and insults.”
The group’s flagship company, Adani Enterprises, saw a drop in shares of around 4% early on Tuesday. Later in the day, the business will release its quarterly results after cancelling a $2.5 billion share offering earlier this month due to the stock market crash. In a larger Mumbai market that was marginally higher, Adani Power and Adani Green Energy both saw declines. Adani group executives have been in talks with Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Corp (IHC) for a cash infusion into Adani Enterprises or other group firms since last week, according to a report in India’s Economic Times daily on Tuesday. Requests for response from Adani and IHC were not immediately answered.