ED cannot ‘abdicate’ its jurisdiction, Opposition tells probe agency on Adani row

Led by the Congress, Opposition parties on March 15 organised a protest march from Parliament House to the ED office at Vijay Chowk to submit a memorandum over the Adani Group issue. However, the marching leaders were stopped at Vijay Chowk.

ED cannot ‘abdicate’ its jurisdiction, Opposition tells probe agency on Adani row
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge (File photo: PTI)

Amid heavy police deployment, leaders of around 16 Opposition parties were on Wednesday stopped at Vijay Chowk in central Delhi as they staged a protest march from Parliament House to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office to hand over a memorandum to the agency over the Hindenburg allegations against the Adani group.

After the police stopped the leaders from marching to the ED office, they returned to Parliament House and vowed to meet ED officials and call for the probe.

Nearly all Opposition parties participated in the protest march except for the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC). Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Janata Dal (United), Samajwadi Party (SP), Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC), Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray), Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) participated in the march.

Congress president and Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge hit out at the Centre for not letting the protesting leaders meet the director of the agency to submit a memorandum over the Adani scam. He said they were not allowed to move beyond Vijay Chowk and accused the Centre of suppressing the Opposition’s voice.

“Over the last three months, several crucial pieces of evidence have been made available against the Adani Group in the public domain. Yet, the Enforcement Directorate which claims to pursue such cases with vigour and fairness has yet to launch even a preliminary enquiry into these very serious charges. This case involves corporate fraud, political corruption, stock price manipulation through fraudulent means and the misuse/monopolisation of public resources to benefit a single corporate group,” the three-page memorandum read.

Citing three examples, including the Dharavi redevelopment project, Jharkhand power discounts and the SEZ policy, the memo added that the Adani Group companies have repeatedly exercised “improper influence” to obtain concessions and contracts from governments and regulated entities which they are unqualified for.

The memo further cautioned that the ED cannot turn around and abdicate its jurisdiction.

Demand for JPC probe

Meanwhile, Opposition clamour against the Adani group grew amidst the demand for a JPC probe that continued on the third day of the second phase of the Budget Session. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party also levelled charges against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s recent remarks in London.

On the first and the second day, shortly after resumption, both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha were adjourned till 11 am the next day. This afternoon too, both the houses were adjourned for the day.

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First published on: 15-03-2023 at 17:24 IST
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