Rahul’s approving reaction to Adani’s investments was followed by a sarcastic jibe from chief minister Ashok Gehlot who, reacting to BJP‘s criticism, said his priority was investments and jobs, and for that he would even welcome “Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah”.
Rahul said the Rajasthan government has not given any preferential treatment to Adani group, and if it did, “I will stand against it.”
At a press conference stop of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul was asked about the massive investments announced in the presence of chief minister Ashok Gehlot by Gautam Adani, “the second richest man”, who has been the butt of his attacks allegedly for being a beneficiary of the Centre’s patronage.
Rahul said, “Mr Adani has committed Rs 60,000 crore to Rajasthan. No CM can refuse such an offer. In fact, it would not be correct for a CM to refuse such an offer.”
Explaining his attacks, he said, “My contention is in the use of political power to help certain chosen businesses. My opposition is to two, three or four large businesses being helped politically to monopolise every single business in this country.”
“I am in no way against the corporates, I am in no way against business, but I am against the complete monopolisation of Indian business because that weakens the country. Today, what is being done by the BJP government is complete monopolisation of all businesses by helping a chosen few businesses,” he said.
He said the Rajasthan government has not used political power to help Adani and the day it does that, he will oppose it.
CM Gehlot himself lashed out at the criticism from BJP functionaries. “In such a situation, why do they (BJP) want to create a hurdle? I condemn these people. They talked about Gautam Adani yesterday (Friday). Be it Gautam Adani or any Adani, or Ambani or Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah, we will welcome all of them here. We want employment, we want investment,” he said.
“The state is getting the biggest investment so far, but it’s sad that BJP and a section of the media are engaged in negative publicity of the event. Congress was never against industries. In fact, it created a positive environment for industries through liberalisation. We are opposed to policies made to benefit a particular person or benefiting someone by killing the rights of others,” Gehlot said.
Interestingly, AICC spokesman Jairam Ramesh tried to block the question on Adani by saying that only yatra-related queries should be asked. But Rahul intervened to say that he wanted to reply to the question, and then insisted on giving the answer in Hindi and English both.