New Delhi | The Congress on Tuesday alleged that public-sector LIC is being "forced" to use its policyholders' funds to "bail out" the Adani group and stressed the demand for a JPC probe is "essential and urgent".
Congress general secretary communications Jairam Ramesh claimed in a statement that Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) holding in Adani Enterprises, one of the listed companies of the Adani Group, at the end of June 2021 was 1.32 per cent and by the end of December 2022, it reached 4.23 percent.
"The revelation that LIC's holding in Adani Enterprises has increased while its stock value has fallen sharply once again strengthens the case for a JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) to investigate the PM-linked Adani 'Mega Scam'," Ramesh said on Twitter.
He said "serious questions" began to be raised about the Adani Group on January 24, 2023 "Now it turns out that LIC's holding in Adani Enterprises had further increased to 4.26 percent by the end of March 2023," he said.
The LIC had on January 30 said it has an exposure of Rs 36,474.78 crore to Adani group's debt and equity, and the amount is less than one per cent of the national insurer's total investments.
LIC's total assets under management stood at over Rs 41.66 lakh crore as of September 2022.
The disclosure by the LIC, which is also the country's largest domestic institutional investor, came amid Adani group stocks taking a beating on the bourses after the short-selling specialist firm Hindenburg Research in a report made a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share price manipulation, at the Gautam Adani-led group. The allegations have been rejected by the group.
On Tuesday, Ramesh said the increase in LIC holding took place at a time when the market value of Adani Enterprises' stock had fallen by almost 60 percent, even as LIC bought as many as 3.75 lakh shares in Adani Enterprises during the January-March 2023 quarter.
"Very clearly, LIC is being forced to use its policyholders' funds to bail out the PM's favourite business group which is under siege. This makes the constitution of a JPC all the more essential and urgent," Ramesh said in the statement.
The Congress and many opposition parties have been demanding a joint parliamentary committee probe into the Adani group in the wake of the Hindenburg report.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar, a Congress ally, recently said that the Supreme Court panel to look into the Hindenburg research report on the Adani group will be more effective instead of a parliamentary committee.
However, the Congress has defended the demand for a JPC.
The entire budget session of Parliament was almost washed out amid uproar by the Congress and other opposition parties on the Adani issue.