‘Political gimmick’: Gautam Adani dismisses Rahul Gandhi’s allegations against him as baseless | The Financial Express

‘Political gimmick’: Gautam Adani dismisses Rahul Gandhi’s allegations against him as baseless

Gautam Adani on Aap Ki Adalat: Billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani put up a strong defence against allegations by Rahul Gandhi and said he understands the political compulsions behind the Congress leader’s statements.

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Gautam Adani. (File Image)

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani has rejected charges that he has benefitted at the hands of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government and termed allegations levelled against him by former Congress president Rahul Gandhi as baseless and made out of political compulsions.

Gautam Adani, the world’s third richest person and also Asia’s richest man, was a guest at IndiaTV’s ‘Aap Ki Adalat’ where he opened up on a number of issues, including his brush with death on two occasions — once in 1998 when he was kidnapped, and the second during the ghastly 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

“I’m thankful to God, that I’ve seen two close-to-death experiences. I think it’s by God’s grace that I was saved,” Adani said.

Rahul’s allegations nothing more than a political gimmick: Gautam Adani

The industrialist took several questions on the allegations against him by Rahul Gandhi ever since the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power at the Centre. Rahul, who loses no opportunity to suggest that the billionaire industrialist had the tacit support of PM Narendra Modi.

“Rahul ji is a senior leader of the Congress Party. I feel that as an industrialist, it doesn’t suit me to comment on him. He’s a respected leader, and I see that he too wants the nation to progress. I understand, he says certain things because of his political leanings, but I don’t take it as anything more than a political gimmick,” Adani said in response to a question.

When asked on Rahul’s specific allegations that the Modi government had “handed over all of India’s ports, airports, gas, transmission, power, mining, green energy, gas” to the Adani Group, the industrialist rejected any wrongdoing and said that every business that the group has entered into has been through proper processes.

“When you level an accusation, also tell me, is there anything that has been done without bidding? Is there one business that we have entered without bidding or without merit? Even we know that doing such a thing in India would create controversy. The Adani Group has a philosophy that nothing should be touched without a bid. Be it my ports, airports, roads, powerhouse… not one business has been acquired without bidding. It’s like questioning the one who stands first in the exam,” he said.

Gautam Adani rejects Rahul’s favouritism charge

The billionaire industrialist went on to justify the growth that businesses under his group company have seen over the past years. Furthermore, he rejected the charge that Prime Minister Modi was behind the loans his companies were securing from state-run banks.

“Adani Group is the sole group in India whose rating… and this rating is not given by any political party or bank, it’s given by an independent rating agency after your full financial analysis. And on the basis of that, loan is given to those eligible. You have that rating for India, the Indian banks and for every corporate. Today every company of Adani Group is rated at par with India’s overall rating, which is a sovereign rating.

“Adani Group has such a discipline and rating, that in my 25 years we have never delayed payment or defaulted on interest, and more so, whenever we need funds for any development activity, everyone is ready to lend to us,” Adani said, adding that the Adani Group used to take 80% of the money from Indian banks before 2013 which has now reduced to 35% now.

Responding to the specific charge that the loans were secured through PM Modi’s help, Adani dismissed the allegations as baseless and said institutions in India, or globally, do not lend on the basis of what one individual or political party says.

“On the global front, no one lends based on what someone says, they purely lend seeing your rating and governance. Based on our company’s ratings and disclosures, one of our companies has got an award for worldwide 3rd ESG level. This is an absolutely baseless allegation. I understand he needs to say certain things politically, but there’s no friction between the lenders and us borrowers,” Adani said.

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First published on: 09-01-2023 at 14:14 IST
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