India Claps Back at George Soros Over Claims of Adani Troubles Weakening Modi’s Power Hold. India has strongly criticized billionaire investor George Soros for his recent comments alleging that the Adani turmoil would weaken Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hold on power and trigger a “democratic revival” in the country.
This latest controversy has brought renewed attention to the relationship between India’s leader and business magnate Gautam Adani, whose net worth has dropped by billions following fraud allegations made by a short seller report. The Adani Group has firmly denied these allegations, calling the report a “deliberate attack on India.”
Last week, Soros criticized the prime minister, describing him as “no democrat” despite India being a democracy. India’s foreign minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, spoke out against Soros’ remarks at a conference in Sydney, dismissing them as a “Euro-Atlantic perspective” and refuting his allegations.
According to Jaishankar, there exist individuals who persist in the belief that their definition, preferences, and views ought to supersede all else.
He further suggested that an essential discussion must ensue concerning democracy, encompassing the determination of whose values define a democracy as the global power balance shifted away from Euro-Atlantic influences.
In response to a query regarding comments made by a billionaire, Jaishankar described the individual as elderly, wealthy, opinionated, and perilous, emphasizing that such individuals, viewpoints, and groups expend significant resources to shape narratives.
The foreign minister stressed that India’s electorate would determine the country’s governance, expressing concern about the risks of external meddling due to India’s history with colonialism.
Meanwhile, Soros criticized the intimate association between Modi and industrial magnate Adani, alleging that they were closely aligned and dependent on each other. Soros also highlighted Adani’s unsuccessful attempts to raise capital in the stock market.
Both individuals originate from Gujarat, a state located in Western India. Adani was an early supporter of Modi’s political ambitions and endorsed the Indian leader’s plan for the nation’s growth.
Modi even used an Adani aircraft after securing national office in 2014. However, Adani’s title as Asia’s wealthiest individual was lost shortly after the Hindenburg Research, a short-selling firm, accused his group of fraud. Despite the Adani Group’s denial of wrongdoing and a comprehensive 400-page refutation of the allegations, their stock price plummeted.
Soros observed that Adani faced accusations of stock manipulation, and his stock value disintegrated rapidly. While Modi has not made any public comments on the matter, he may be required to address queries from foreign investors and in parliament.
The billionaire investor anticipated that Adani’s challenges would considerably diminish Modi’s grip on India’s federal administration, leading the way for essential institutional reforms.
Soros expressed optimism about a possible resurgence of democracy in India, despite acknowledging the possibility of his naivete.
As the founder of the Open Society Foundations advocacy network, Soros has donated more than $32 billion towards building vibrant and inclusive democracies. The network provides several thousand grants annually, supporting active projects in over 120 countries.
Adani Downfall provoked criticism.
Critics of Modi’s administration have employed the Hindenburg report to criticize the prime minister and his party, especially in light of the forthcoming national elections.
India’s principal opposition party, the Congress, arranged protests and called for a probe into Hindenburg’s accusations. Despite this, the opposition party has disassociated itself from Soros’ remarks.
Jairam Ramesh, Congress’ general secretary, tweeted that any possibility of a democratic resurgence in response to the Adani scandal would depend solely on Congress, other opposition parties, and the electoral process. Ramesh also stressed that the issue has no connection with George Soros.
According to experts, it is challenging to anticipate the impact of Adani’s examination on Modi’s reputation and his ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s standing in the political arena.
Nevertheless, the association between Modi and Adani is so firm and enduring that it will be arduous for the prime minister and his party to emerge from this predicament unscathed, stated Ashok Swain, the head of the department of peace and conflict research at Uppsala University in Sweden, during a recent CNBC interview.
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