Modi Heckled by Opposition Over Adani

Written by Allan Millward

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives on the first day of the budget session in New Delhi, India, Source: Reuters

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the country’s congress numerous times in the past few weeks. Most recently, sitting in the upper house, he was harassed by opposition lawmakers about his ties to the Indian conglomerate Adani. The Adani company has shed about $100 billion in market value due to accusations of fraud and market manipulation from US short-seller Hindenburg Research. Gautam Adani, the company’s founder, and Modi hail from the same state, Gujarat, and the opposition has attempted to tie the flailing company to Modi and his government. In the upper house, they called out “Modi-Adani bhai bhai” (bhai means brother in Hindu). Modi refused to mention Adani directly or engage with the opposition protests responding with, “keep mudslinging, the lotus will bloom even more.” The lotus symbolizes Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Opposition lawmakers have demanded a formal probe into potential ties, but Modi and his party have so far resisted these calls insisting there was no favoritism in the company and that the crisis has nothing to do with the government. With elections coming up in several states this year and the general election in 2024, the opposition likely sees the Adani crisis as a chance to damage Modi and the BJP. However, polls indicate that the crisis has had little effect on the average Indian’s opinion of Modi. Data from polling agency C-Voter found that almost half of the respondents are “very much satisfied” with Modi’s work as Prime Minister, and around thirty percent said they were “satisfied to some extent.” Those numbers a relatively unchanged from previous polls conducted in November of 2022.

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