New Delhi: Opposition leaders on Thursday formed a human chain in the Parliament House premises demanding a probe by a joint parliamentary committee into alleged irregularities in the Adani Group.
Carrying placards and raising slogans, opposition lawmakers, including Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, DMK leader T R Baalu, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah, Shiv Sena (Thackeray faction) leaders Priyanka Chaturvedi and Arvind Sawant, also protested against what they called the BJP government's "diversionary tactics".
"All opposition parties have come together to demand a probe against the Adani Group. It is unfortunate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to save his dear friend Adani," Gaurav Gogoi, deputy leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said.
He said the Delhi Police had prevented the opposition leaders from marching to the office of the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday.
"Opposition leaders are not allowed to raise this issue in Parliament. Our microphones are turned off," Gogoi said.
The decision to form a human chain demanding a JPC probe into the Adani Group was taken at a joint meeting of opposition leaders convened by Kharge on Thursday morning.
Leaders of several opposition parties, including Congress, DMK, NCP, SP, RJD, BRS, CPM, CPI, Thackeray faction of Shiv Sena, JDU, JMM, MDMK, AAP, VCK and IUML attended the meeting.
The Congress has escalated its offensive, accusing the government of "undermining and weakening" democracy by stalling Parliament to save a businessman.
It came 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.
On Wednesday, the Congress, along with several other opposition parties, took out a protest march from Parliament House to hand over a complaint to the Enforcement Directorate on the Adani issue.
However, they were stopped at Vijay Chowk by the police, who said prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC were in effect in the area.