PM Modi, Home Minister Shah 'directly involved' in biggest stock market scam: Rahul Gandhi

Retail investors lost Rs 30 lakh crore and this is the "biggest stock market scam", Gandhi said

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  6 Jun 2024 1:39 PM GMT
PM Modi, Home Minister Shah directly involved in biggest stock market scam: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah were "directly involved" in what he described as the "biggest stock market scam" with retail investors losing Rs 30 lakh crore due to the market crashing after the Lok Sabha poll result, even as the BJP dismissed his charges as "baseless".

Hitting back at Gandhi, the BJP accused him of conspiring to scare domestic and foreign investors. The stock market went down when the Congress was seen gaining in seats on the day of the poll result on June 4 but has now begun rising as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is set to return to office for a third consecutive term, it claimed.

Addressing a press conference here, Gandhi demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the "scam" and sought an inquiry into the alleged role of the prime minister, home minister and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in it, claiming they had advised retail investors to buy stock before the result, which is "unprecedented".

Gandhi also alleged that Prime Minister Modi and Shah knew how many seats the BJP was winning, but they "artificially" jacked up the stock prices with the help of "fake" and "fictitious" exit polls and the markets crashed when the actual result came out on June 4 leading to huge losses to retail investors.

"The common people of India lost Rs 30 lakh crore in the stock market on June 4...We demand a JPC investigation into this biggest-ever stock market scam," the former Congress chief said.

"This is a criminal act and we demand a JPC to investigate the involvement of the prime minister, home minister and finance minister and who are the people who made the money in this 'scam'," he said referring to those behind the exit polls.

"I am saying that people very high up in the BJP have carried out the scam...they had partners who carried out these exit polls," he said, questioning whether such exit polls were actually carried out on the ground and the methodology adopted.

Gandhi also asked who these investors were who invested huge sums before the exit polls and made money when the stocks rose thereafter a day before the actual result.

In a quick retort, Union Minister Piyush Goyal addressed a press conference dismissing Gandhi's demand for a JPC probe into the matter as "baseless" and saying he keeps making useless comments.

He claimed that domestic investors in fact made money while the loss was suffered by foreign investors. Goyal said the Rs 30 lakh crore figure highlighted by Gandhi was a notional amount and did not pertain to trading.

"He (Gandhi) does not understand. That is why the people of India do not trust him," he said, citing the big rise in the stock market under the BJP government to assert that retail and domestic investors benefited the most.

"I think Rahul Gandhi should be concerned about the fear of investors as the market crashed when the Congress was doing better than expected. Now, people are confident that the Modi government is coming back, and the market has stabilised and is reclaiming its previous highs," Goyal said.

The trading value was around Rs 6,840 crore, he said, adding that when the Congress was seen gaining in seats on result day, then it fell.

The minister expressed confidence that the reforms envisioned by the government will continue at a time when the country is poised for a bright future.

"We are delighted that our allies are progressive and support reforms," he said. They know what is good for the people of India and that the Modi government has taken the country to new heights, he added.

Gandhi earlier asserted that he was not speaking out of the air, saying, "we are confident that if an investigation is done, interesting things will be revealed and we think that the PM and home minister are directly involved in this."

"We are absolutely convinced that this is a scam. Somebody has made thousands of crores of rupees at the cost of Indian retail investors, and the PM and the home minister have given an indication to buy, and this is a criminal act. So, we demand today a JPC to investigate this," he said.

Gandhi claimed that when the actual result was way off the mark from the exit poll claims, the market crashed leading to loss of Rs 30 lakh crore to the retail investors.

He alleged that all this was deliberately and wilfully planned and executed. Gandhi claimed that the BJP knew that its seats were not going to be more than 220 from their internal survey and the feedback received from intelligence agencies, but despite that the exit polls were made to show that the BJP was winning a large number of seats.

Besides, he said, the interviews were carried out by channels "owned by Adani" and asked why did the PM and the home minister need to give investment advice which people are bound to take seriously, which they did, and later suffered huge losses.

Gandhi also posed a set of three questions, asking, "Why did the PM and home minister give specific investment advice to the five crore families investing in the stock markets? Is it their job to give investment advice to the people?".

"Why were both interviews given to the same media house owned by the same business group, which is also under SEBI investigations for manipulating stock markets," he also asked.

"What is the connection between the BJP, the fake exit pollsters, and the dubious foreign investors, who invested one day before the exit polls were announced and made huge profits, at the cost of five crore families?" Gandhi asked.

He claimed that it is for the first time that during polls, Modi, Shah and Sitharaman commented on the stock market.

"Why did the PM and home minister give investment advice to people," Gandhi asked and claimed "BJP leaders had information that exit polls were wrong."

"Quite interestingly, this has never happened before that the PM has commented on the stock market," he claimed.

Asked whether he was linking Adani group, Gandhi said this is a broader issue than Adani's. "It is connected to the Adani issue but it is much broader. This is directly the Prime Minister of India and the home minister who are privy to data on the actual election results, who have the IB reports, who have their own data, and who are advising retail investors to buy stocks."

He said the JPC is to investigate the role of the PM, home minister, of BJP members and also those who conducted these "fake" exit polls.

Gandhi cited the chronology of events in which Shah said on May 13 that "buy shares before June 4" and on May 19, PM Modi said "stock markets will break records on June 4".

The markets first rose on June 3 after exit polls, but crashed badly on June 4 when the actual result came.

Rebutting the allegations, Goyal said Gandhi was desperate after the opposition alliance failed in its bid for power and Modi is set to start his third term.

He is now hatching a conspiracy to scare domestic and foreign investors from putting their money in India when the prime minister is working to make it the third largest global economy, said Goyal.

When the exit polls were broadcast, it was foreign investors who bought expensive stocks while domestic investors sold. When the market crashed, it was the other way round, he claimed that domestic investors made money.

The market cap has now risen to Rs 415 lakh crore from Rs 67 lakh crore when the Congress-led UPA government demitted office in 2014, he said, adding that the valuation of listed public sector firms has gone up by four times.

The share of domestic investors in the market has gone up to 84 per cent from 79 per cent 10 years ago and this shows that they are the ones who have benefitted the most under the BJP-led NDA government, he said. The size of the mutual fund industry has surged to Rs 56 lakh crore from Rs 10 lakh crore in this period, Goyal added.

Inputs from PTI

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