NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said he hasn’t questioned his ally Sharad Pawar about his meetings with industrialist Gautam Adani since the NCP supremo is not the Prime Minister of the country.
Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rahul added that the Maratha strongman isn’t protecting the billionaire businessman either.
Sharad Pawar held a few meetings with Adani amid growing demands by several INDIA bloc parties for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into allegations levelled by US-based short seller Hindenburg.
The meetings had raised some eyebrows in the opposition ranks.
However, Rahul sought to play down Pawar’s meetings with Adani, saying that he is not answerable to anyone.
Asked whether he had questioned Pawar about his meetings, Rahul said, “No, I have not asked this. Sharad Pawar is not the prime minister of India. Sharad Pawar is not protecting Mr Adani, Mr Modi is and that is why, I ask Mr Modi this question and not Mr Sharad Pawar.”
“If Mr Sharad Pawar was sitting as the Prime Minister of India, and if he was protecting Mr Adani, then I would be asking Mr Sharad Pawar that question,” the former Congress chief said at a press conference at the AICC headquarters here.
Pawar had visited Adani’s office and residence in Ahmedabad in September.
In April this year, Adani had visited Pawar’s Silver Oak residence in south Mumbai.
This meeting, which lasted for almost two hours, came within days of Pawar coming out in support of Adani and criticising the narrative being built around the Hindenburg report.
His position was seen at variance with his allies such as the Congress, which has been seeking a JPC probe into the allegations of fraud and stock market manipulations against the Adani Group.
Pawar had at that time said that he favoured a Supreme Court committee probing allegations against the Adani Group.
Adani had also visited Pawar’s residence in June.
In fact, the relationship between Pawar and Adani goes back nearly two decades. In his Marathi autobiography ‘Lok Maze Saangati’, published in 2015, Pawar heaped praises on Adani who at the time was venturing into the coal sector.
The Congress has also been questioning the financial dealings of the Adani Group after Hindenburg alleged “irregularities” and charged it with stock price manipulation.
The Adani Group has denied all the allegations made in the Hindenburg report and claimed there has been no wrongdoing on its part.
(With inputs from PTI)Watch Watch: Rahul Gandhi reveals Adani’s Indonesia connection and rising electricity prices

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