A trail of shell companies, two proxy investors and Indian market regulator SEBI’s alleged oversight – the Adani Group was in the eye of yet last week. And as the conglomerate rushed to defend itself, its new media acquisition NDTV tried to chip in with cover fire.
Possibly incriminating details, obtained by the OCCRP and shared with the Guardian and Financial Times, had pointed to stock manipulation by four Adani companies between 2013 and 2017, reasserting a charge made by the controversial Hindenburg report released earlier this year.
A political war of words then raged on. While the BJP said India’s growth was an “eyesore” for many, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi held a press conference on August 31, on the sidelines of the opposition INDIA bloc’s Mumbai meet, to renew his party’s demand for a joint committee probe, claiming the “country’s reputation was at stake”.
Around 300 media persons, from both national and regional publications, had filled up a hall for the press conference at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla Complex. One of them was Sohit Mishra, NDTV’s Mumbai bureau chief.
But hours before the event, Mishra had been allegedly asked by none other than the channel’s editor-in-chief Sanjay Pugalia to disrupt Gandhi’s press conference, “create a ruckus” and “change the narrative”, sources at NDTV told Newslaundry.
Notably, Pugalia had joined the network as its chief after Adani’s AMG Media Network took over NDTV.
In Rahul ‘questions, his anti-national narrative, Rafale failure’
Sources said the Mumbai bureau chief was allegedly directed by Pugalia to ask a list of questions to Gandhi, revolving around why the Congress leader “only
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