Adani, redux

The Four Corners documentary into the Adani group’s business operations, which I had mentioned in my day’s round up, is now out. Watch here.

The News in Briefs: October 2

#1. In Agra, members of the VHP and the RSS, armed with guns, pistols and swords fired in the air near a temple in the Agra Fort region to “celebrate Dussehra”. The police have registered a case. The weapons, the firing, the communal slogans, all add up to calculated intimidation. And all the while, the RSS claims that it is the victim, not the perpetrator, of violence against its members.

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Congress – a day late, a dollar short

“Is it true,” asks Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari, “that former Home Secretary Honble G.K.Pillai serves on the Board of Gautam Adani-led Adani Ports and Special Economic Zones Ltd?”

Well, duh! That was reported back in 2013 by Economic Times, as part of an extensive story on the Adani Group. (The clip below is from Page 4; here is the start of the M Rajsekhar story).

Last October, former home secretary GK Pillai joined the board of Adani Ports. In 2010, when Pillai was the home secretary, the ministry denied Adani Ports security clearance to bid for port projects in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and JNPT. When asked if his joining the group amounted to a conflict of interest, Pillai messaged: “Security clearances were denied based on certain alleged economic offences. Subsequently, the MHA (ministry of home affairs) gave the necessary security clearances and I joined as an independent director only in October 2012—one year and four months after I superannuated.” News reports, however, show the final clearance to Adani came only in 2013. When asked about this, Pillai messaged: “What I stated is my recollection. I have no further details and I will need to check on what you have stated.”