Jairam Ramesh accuses PM Modi of deliberately twisting, deflecting issuestext_fields
New Delhi: Jairam Ramesh, a leader in the Congress, charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday with "deliberately twisting" and diverting attention away from concerns about the alleged "misuse" of LIC and public sector banks to help his "cronies." In a jab at the opposition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said earlier in the day that they have a "secret boon" whereby anyone they wish ill for succeeds, as was the case with PSUs like Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Life Insurance Corporation of India.
Responding to the jibe, Ramesh said on X, formerly known as Twitter, “The Prime Minister deflected and deliberately twisted the issue of misuse of LIC and Public Sector Banks(PSBs) during the No Confidence Motion today,” “Three questions that Mr Modi will not have the courage to answer: Did you play any role in forcing LIC to invest Rs 30,000 crore in the Adani Group when even normally aggressive private fund managers steered clear of doing so? Is it not your duty to protect LIC’s 30 crore policyholders by ensuring that public sector financial institutions invest responsibly and not to enrich your friend,” he asked.
Ramesh, a former union minister, claimed that public sector banks, especially SBI, accounted for three-quarters of Indian banks’ debt to the Adani Group which he said was another example of the public sector bank taking more risk than its private counterparts to “help your cronies”.
A report clearly suggested that the public sector loans were riskier and made against the Adani Group’s weaker assets, Ramesh said.
“What role did you have in encouraging such irresponsible risk-taking by PSBs,” he asked the PM.
“We have all witnessed the highly ‘productive’ lunch meeting with Gautam Adani and SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya in Australia some years ago. Did you pressure SBI to lend Adani USD 1 billion for its controversial Carmichael project that other lenders were avoiding? You often speak of so-called ‘phone banking’. Isn’t this ‘lunch banking’,” said the Congress leader, who is also the party’s chief whip in Rajya Sabha.
Criticising what he called was the “ostrich approach” of the opposition, the prime minister said they are not able to see the trust of people as they are so steeped in distrust.
Prime Minister Modi recalled the attitude of the opposition towards the developments in the banking sector and said they tried their best to spread misinformation and confuse the people.
However, the net profit of the public sector banks increased two-fold, Modi said.
He also touched upon the phone banking scam which pushed the country towards an NPA crisis and said that the country has revived itself from this and is now moving forward.
With PTI inputs