BJP slams George Soros for comments against PM, calls it 'attack on India'text_fields
New Delhi: After billionaire investor George Soros predicted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would "have to answer questions" as a result of Indian business tycoon Gautam Adani's recent stock market woes, Union Minister Smriti Irani urged Indians to stand as one against "foreign powers who try to intervene in India's democratic processes."
She referred to Mr Soros' comment as a "declaration to destroy India's democratic processes" and asserted that Indians have already overcome such "foreign powers" that have attempted to intervene in our internal matters and will do so once more.
"I urge every Indian to give a fitting reply to George Soros," she said.
Regarding Mr Soros's comment, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said it had "nothing to do with George Soros" and that Congress, opposition parties, and India's electoral process will determine if the Adani scandal will "spark a democratic revival."
"Whether the PM-linked Adani scam sparks a democratic revival in India depends entirely on the Congress, Opposition parties & our electoral process. It has NOTHING to do with George Soros. Our Nehruvian legacy ensures people like Soros cannot determine our electoral outcomes," he tweeted, NDTV reported.
The Union Minister launched a stinging attack on the billionaire, calling him an "economic war criminal" who has made it clear that he has ill intentions for India.
"The man who broke the Bank of England, and is designated by the nation an economic war criminal, has now pronounced his desire to break Indian democracy. George Soros, an international entrepreneur, has declared his ill-intention to intervene in the democratic processes of India," the fiery BJP leader said.
She claimed that these groups work to overthrow governments in other nations in order to install "their hand-picked people."
"It is evident from his statements that he has pronounced funding over one billion dollars particularly to target leaders like PM Modi is significant," she said, referring to the billionaire investor known for breaking the Bank of England in 1992.
"PM Modi has repeatedly said that he can take criticism, but an attempt on India will not be tolerated," Smriti Irani further said, adding that PM Modi is the sole person standing between the citizens and the foreign powers in this "war".
The Union Minister also issued a warning to political groups that could back the billionaire in his 'attack' on the Prime Minister.
"Any political organisation that matches steps with George Soros will stand exposed in front of the Indian electorate," she said.
Priyanka Chaturvedi, the leader of the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction), questioned why the BJP was devoting a full press conference to Mr Soros and took a jab at Ms Irani by asking if she had any comments regarding Israeli interference in India's electoral process. Ms Chaturvedi was probably alluding to the spyware programme known as "Pegasus" from the NSO organisation, which was accused of spying on innocent civilians, journalists, and politicians in India.
"Who is George Soros and why is BJP's Troll Mantralaya doing an entire press conference dedicated to him? BTW, Mantriji any comment on an Israel agency's interference in India's electoral process? That is a bigger threat to India's democracy," Ms Chaturvedi tweeted.
"While India-US ties are being strengthened, while India is emerging as the World's 5th largest economy --- we should stand united and let these forces know that PM Modi will not bow down," the minister said.
"When India rose to the fifth-largest economy in the world, and when Presidents of the US, France, and PM of England publicly extended gratitude to Indian PM for enabling employment in these nations, such as the time when imperialistic intentions of an entrepreneur come to light," Smriti Irani added.
In a speech on Thursday at the 2023 Munich Security Conference, 92-year-old George Soros predicted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be undermined by Gautam Adani's financial troubles. Adani's companies experienced a severe stock market crash after US-based short seller Hindenburg published a report accusing the Adani group companies of stock manipulation, "opening the door" to a democratic revival in the nation.
According to Mr Soros, who noted that PM Modi had been "silent" on the subject, PM Modi would "have to answer questions" from international investors and the parliament over claims of fraud and stock manipulation at Mr Adani's industrial empire.
"Modi and business tycoon Adani are close allies; their fate is intertwined," Mr Soros had said, adding that, "Adani Enterprises tried to raise funds in the stock market, but he failed. Adani is accused of stock manipulation and his stock collapsed like a house of cards. Modi is silent on the subject, but he will have to answer questions from foreign investors and in parliament."
The Hungarian-American businessman, who set up the Open Society Foundations to 'promote democratic governance', has said that PM Modi "is no democrat", alleging that "inciting violence against Muslims was an important factor in his meteoric rise". He further added that India "buys a lot of Russian oil at a steep discount and makes a lot of money on it", Financial Times reported.
Soros has said in other statements that Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan "has mismanaged the Turkish economy", while in China, President Xi Jinping's "close association with (Russian president) Putin would hurt him".
He added that "Xi will not remain in office for life, and while he is in office, China will not become the dominant military and political force that Xi is aiming for."
Hindenburg said that for decades, the Adani group engaged in "brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud." The Adani Group has denied the accusations, calling them baseless.
After the publication of the Hindenburg report on January 24, the market capitalization of the Adani group has decreased by $125 billion.