Maharashtra said in a submission that SecLink’s claims were “baseless” and that officials had followed “proper process” in cancelling the earlier tender, according to a Reuters review of non-public filings related to the case. It said it restarted the process because it added another land parcel to the project after the 2018 tender had closed.
Adani Group, SecLink, Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Modi’s office did not respond to questions from Reuters for this report.
Modi and Adani both hail from the western state of Gujarat. Their opponents and critics often allege the meteoric rise of Adani’s ports-to-energy empire was partly due to his close relations with, and favourable treatment by, administrations run by Modi’s BJP and its allies. The duo have repeatedly denied impropriety.
The opposition Congress party has seized on the Dharavi dispute to put pressure on Modi and the BJP ahead of 2024 national elections, accusing Maharashtra’s government of handing Adani an advantage.
“The fact that it is associated with Adani will automatically result in snowballing into a political controversy,” said Sandeep Shastri, director of academics at India’s NITTE Education Trust.
Hindenburg’s report and ensuing regulatory scrutiny of Adani have sowed mistrust among some in Dharavi, according to representatives of thousands of local families, and 25 other residents and business owners interviewed by Reuters.
“People have doubts regarding Adani’s image after the Hindenburg incident. There are issues of trustworthiness,” said Rajendra Korde, president of Dharavi Redevelopment Committee, which is calling for public consultation.
In early August, about 300 opposition supporters and residents gathered in Dharavi to object to Adani’s involvement. Some bore banners showing Adani’s face with a red cross, shouting, “Remove Adani, Save Dharavi”.
Many told Reuters they were troubled by Adani Group’s financial setbacks, including the collapse in its valuations.
“If something like that happens again, and if he is not able to complete the project, where will people like us go,” said Radha Pawar, a 50-year-old airport cleaner.
Source: Channel News Asia