Press Trust of india

Oppn MPs fire fresh salvo against govt over Adani involvement in defence sector

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New Delhi: Several Opposition leaders, including former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, on Wednesday attacked the government over a media report claiming that a key Adani Group investor is also the co-owner with the conglomerate in a defence firm.

Gandhi asked why India’s national security is being “compromised” by giving control of strategic defence equipment to unknown foreign entities.

A report in The Indian Express claimed that ELARA India Opportunities Fund (Elara IOF), a venture capital fund managed by Elara Capital, is one of the top four entities registered in Mauritius that holds shares predominantly in Adani Group companies. According to the report, records show that along with the Adani Group, it is a promoter entity in a defence company, Bengaluru-based Alpha Design Technologies Private Limited.

This defence company, incorporated in 2003, works closely with ISRO and DRDO and has a Rs 590 crore contract with the Union Ministry of Defence in 2020 to upgrade and digitise the ageing Pechora missile and radar systems, the report said.

Sharing the screenshot of the media report on Twitter, Gandhi said, “India’s missile and radar upgrade contract is given to a company owned by Adani and a dubious foreign entity called Elara.

“Who controls Elara? Why is India’s national security being compromised by giving control of strategic defence equipment to unknown foreign entities?”

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra also shared screenshots of the report on Twitter and took a swipe at the government.

“The ‘Chhupa  Rustom’ category award at the Oscars goes to @DRDO_India and @PIBHomeAffairs. Happy to have unknown foreign funds controlling sensitive defense contracts! Only for their best friend Mr Adani,” she tweeted.

Citing the same media report, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said on Twitter, “This is in India’s Defence space, a key investor in Adani Group, Mauritius based Elara IOF, with 96% of its corpus invested in the group till Dec, ’22 is also co-owner in a Defence company, the firm works closely with ISRO & DRDO, both jointly hold over 51% stake. Amazing coincidence!”

Opposition parties have been persistent in their attack on the government. It comes weeks after Adani Group stocks took a beating on the bourses in the wake of US-based short seller Hindenburg Research making a litany of allegations, including fraudulent transactions and share-price manipulation, on the conglomerate.

The Adani Group has dismissed the charges as lies, saying it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements.


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