In the 23rd instalment of the series, 'Hum Adani Ke Hai Kaun' (HAHK), the Congress party asked three questions to prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi about handing over India’s food grain logistics to the Adani group.
In a release, Jairam Ramesh, member of Parliament (MP) and general secretary for communications of Congress, says, “Today’s questions related to the hard work your government has put into handing over India’s food grain logistics to the Adani Group, a conspiracy that it seems was only temporarily foiled by the farmer agitation of 2020-21 that forced you to withdraw the black farm laws."
Here are the three questions asked by Congress to PM…
1. The publication AdaniWatch has reported that on 13 October 2022 the Supreme Court of India quashed a 30 June 2021 Gujarat High Court judgement that favoured Adani Ports & SEZ over the government-owned Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), and said that the High Court judgement 'is not sustainable in law'. CWC was set up in 1957 to support India’s food storage needs and stored 5.5mn (million) tonnes of food grains in 2021-22. The Supreme Court observed that the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution had supported the CWC’s stand while the ministry of commerce and industry had aided Adani’s bid to take control of two major CWC warehouses near Mundra port by not supporting the denotification of the warehouses as part of the Adani SEZ. The judgement stated that “it does not augur well for the Union of India to speak in two contradictory voices” and that “two departments of the Union of India cannot be permitted to take stands which are diagonally opposite.” Which begs the question why the ministry of commerce and industry, then headed by Nirmala Sitharaman, took a stand opposed to a strategic public sector corporation and in support of your favourite business group. Would she have the courage to do so without clear directions from above?
2. This Adani-inspired inter-ministerial conflict was allowed to continue even after Piyush Goyal became minister of commerce and industry (in May 2019) as well as minister of consumer affairs, food and public distribution (in October 2020). If a minister considered close to corporate interests does not take the initiative to support a public-sector unit that he is responsible for, is it not logical to assume that he is instead supporting the Adani Group to build a strong ‘electoral bond’ with it?
3. The entire country knows that the motivation behind your ill-conceived farm laws was to hand over India’s agricultural logistics to a few of your close corporate cronies. One of the biggest beneficiaries of the farm laws would have been Adani Agri Logistics which has become the major beneficiary of the Food Corporation of India’s silo contracts, the most recent award being one to set up 3.5 lakh metric tonnes of storage in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Meanwhile Adani Farm-Pik was allowed to build a near-monopoly on apple procurement in Himachal Pradesh. Is India’s public sector, painstakingly built over the past 70 years, now reduced to being a vehicle for the enrichment of your corporate friends?
Read about previous questions here…