In the twenty-third instalment of the series, 'Hum Adani Ke Hai Kaun' (HAHK), the Congress party asked three questions to prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi about relations between Chinese national Chang Chung-Ling and the Adani group as well as his close association with Vinod Adani, the elder brother of Adani group chief Gautam Adani.
In a release, Jairam Ramesh, member of Parliament (MP) and general secretary for communications of Congress, says, "….questions relate to the dubious role played in the Adani Group's activities by the Chinese national Chang Chung-Ling. Considering his close association with Gautam Adani's elder brother Vinod, this is also the third in a sub-series of questions titled 'Dikh Raha Hai Vinod'."
Here are the three questions asked by Congress to PM…
(1) As we pointed out in our 4 February HAHK, Chang Chung-Ling is alleged to be involved in activities such as smuggling petroleum products to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions. Chang's Adani links are extremely close: in 2005, he declared the same residential address in Singapore as Vinod Adani and his Singapore-based firm Gudami International was named by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in its investigation into the Adani Group's diamond trading scam in 2013. Reportedly, Gudami was named in the first Enforcement Directorate (ED) chargesheet against the prime accused in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter scam Gautam Khaitan in 2014 and in a supplementary chargesheet against the co-accused Rajiv Saxena in 2017. Yet the firm's name mysteriously disappeared from the third ED chargesheet in 2018. Did you ensure a clean chit to the Adanis' close colleague in the AgustaWestland scam? Is this why the investigation has lingered for so many years? Are you not concerned that the Adanis may be involving a Chinese national in important defence contracts?
(2) Shortly after allegations of corruption appeared, the UPA government took proactive action against AgustaWestland's parent company Finmeccanica (later Leonardo). It started a Central Bureau of Investigation enquiry on 12 February 2013, terminated the helicopter contract on 1 January 2014 and encashed bank guarantees on 15 January 2014 in India and on 23 May 2014 in Italy. Leonardo was barred from future Indian military tenders on 26 August 2014. Yet on 14 November 2021, the government abruptly lifted its ban. Why, with the case still pending, have you lifted the ban on a company accused of bribery and corruption? Are you again trying to facilitate the Adani Group's defence sector activities by misusing government agencies?
(3) The ban of Leonardo was lifted shortly after your 29 October 2021 meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. To pave the way for a successful meeting, you also dropped all the charges against the two Italian Marines accused of killing Indian fishermen. Is your desire for approval by foreign leaders stronger than your desire to investigate corruption in Indian defence deals or to do justice to Indian citizens? Will we now see the Adani Group getting involved in deals with Italian defence companies?
Read about previous questions here…