Six references to PM Modi, Adani in LoP Kharge’s RS speech expunged

In his speech, Kharge made references implying PM Modi’s role in the Gujarat riots and sought clarity on his relation with the Adani Group.

New Delhi | Updated: 09 February, 2023 4:10 pm IST
Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge speaking in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

At least six references made by Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge against Prime Minister Narendra Modi – some of them linking him with billionaire Gautam Adani – have been expunged from records of Rajya Sabha.

On Wednesday, Kharge raised a range of issues in the Upper House while pressing for the Opposition’s demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) to probe allegations of irregularities against the Adani Group.

During a debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address, Kharge – who heads the Congress party – made a series of allegations against PM Modi in wake of the release of a BBC documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots and a report published by US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research against Adani.

This is the second time that parts of the speech delivered by a senior Congress have been removed from the parliament record. Earlier, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had ordered the removal of 18 parts of former Congress president and MP Rahul Gandhi’s speech, which mainly focused on allegations against the Adani Group and the meteoric rise of its chairman Gautam Adani.

In response, Kharge told the Rajya Sabha that a few words of his speech were “misconstrued”.

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“I don’t think there was anything unparliamentary or accusatory against anyone in my speech… But a few words were misconstrued… (Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari] Vajpayee sahab had used a word against [former PM PV] Narasimha Rao Ji and that word is still in the books,” Kharge said.

Rahul has also expressed anguish over the removal of parts of his speech. “Why were my words expunged?” he asked while interacting with The New Indian.

On Wednesday, Rahul said PM Modi had failed to answer the questions raised by him a day before in the Lok Sabha.

“I asked him simple questions (about his relationship with billionaire Gautam Adani). He did not answer them… it reveals the truth. If they were not friends, he (PM Modi) would have agreed to an inquiry. He said nothing about allegations of shell companies in the defence sector,” the Wayanad MP said.

Congress, along with other Opposition parties, has mounted a fierce attack on the BJP government over allegations that Adani “pulled the largest con in corporate history”.

The group, with significant investment from state-run financial institutions, has lost half its market value in a stock rout after the Hindenburg Research report.

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