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Indian opposition lawmakers shout anti-Adani slogans in parliament

A general view of the Indian Parliament building before the beginning of the first session of the Indian parliament in New Delhi on June 17, 2019. (Photo by Money SHARMA / AFP) (Photo credit should read MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Melvin Samuel

Opposition lawmakers shouted slogans against the Adani Group in India’s parliament on Thursday after a report by a U.S. short seller that accused the conglomerate of improper use of tax havens and stock manipulation, while also raising concerns over high debt levels.

The protest by opposition parties came a day after the group’s flagship company abandoned its $2.5 billion stock offering. Adani Group’s market losses have risen to more than $100 billion since last week when short-seller Hindenburg Research published the critical report.

The opposition Congress party is pressing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak on the matter and has called for an independent judicial probe into the allegations made against the Adani Group.

The conglomerate has denied the accusations, saying the short-sellers allegation of stock manipulation has “no basis” and stems from an ignorance of Indian law.

Both houses of the parliament were adjourned for the day as the opposition parties chanted anti-Adani slogans, including “Down with Modi-Adani”.

Billionaire Gautam Adani, who founded the Adani Group, and Prime Minister Modi hail from the western state of Gujarat and their relationship has long drawn scrutiny from opposition politicians.

Adani has denied allegations that he had benefited from close ties with Modi. India’s government has denied allegations of favouring Adani.

(Reuters)

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