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'Economic War Criminal': India's Ruling Party Hits Back at George Soros for Comments on Modi

© AP Photo / Olivier HosletIn this Thursday, April 27, 2017 file photom, George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundation, waits for the start of a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels.
In this Thursday, April 27, 2017 file photom, George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundation, waits for the start of a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels. - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.02.2023
Soros has sparked a massive political row, alleging that Narendra Modi was "hand-in-glove" with Adani, whose empire was accused of accounting fraud and stock manipulation by US-based short seller Hindenburg Research.
India's federally ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday fired back at Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros following his controversial comments alleging a "connection" between Indian industrialist Gautam Adani and PM Narendra Modi.

What Did Soros Claim About Modi?

"Modi and business tycoon Adani are close allies; their fate is intertwined. Adani Enterprises tried to raise funds in the stock market, but he failed. Adani is accused of stock manipulation and his stock collapsed like a house of cards. Modi is silent on the subject, but he will have to answer questions from foreign investors and in parliament," Soros, 92, claimed at the Munich Security Conference on Thursday.
Responding to Soros' statement, senior BJP politician and federal minister Smriti Irani called him an "economic war criminal," who was making attempts to break "Indian democracy".

Conspiracy to 'Topple' Modi Gov't: BJP

"The man who broke the Bank of England, and is designated by the nation an economic war criminal, has now pronounced his desire to break Indian democracy. George Soros, an international entrepreneur, has declared his ill-intention to intervene in the democratic processes of India," Irani, the minister for Women & Child Development in PM Modi's cabinet, said in a press conference in Delhi.

Irani's "economic war criminal" reference was in the context of Soros' sale of billions of British pounds during the currency crisis in the United Kingdom in 1992.

By betting against the pound sterling, Soros earned $1 billion in profit. But the market speculation and trade spearheaded by him forced the UK to pull out from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.
Highlighting his controversial biography, Irani accused Soros and comparable foreign speculators of conspiring to topple the PM Modi-led government in India and install their own puppets.
"It is evident from his statements that he has pronounced funding over one billion dollars particularly to target leaders like PM Modi is significant," she added.
In this file photo taken on January 24, 2023, people watch the BBC documentary India: The Modi Question, on a screen installed at the Marine Drive junction under the direction of the district Congress committee, in Kochi. - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.02.2023
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"[Now that] India [has emerged] as the World's 5th largest economy --- we should stand united and let these forces know that PM Modi will not bow down," Irani argued.

Allegations Against Adani Empire

Since January 24, when Hindenburg Research released its report accusing the Adani Group of fraud and wrongdoing, the Indian business house has lost more than half its market value.
While the group's shares have witnessed an uptick in the past 10 days or so, PM Modi's government at the center is under pressure from the opposition to launch independent investigations into the matter.

However, the BJP has maintained that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the country's regulatory body for commodities, was competent enough to take action against Gautam Adani and his group if it finds evidence of any kind of fraud.

A former executive director of SEBI, J.N. Gupta went on to question the Hindenburg report recently.
"In my opinion, the Hindenburg report is not a gospel truth," Gupta said in an interview with a local media publication.
"There were many issues that were raised (in the Hindenburg report) but I am yet to find something that was not already in the public domain. A report can be called credible if there is no motive attached to it. In this particular case, there appears two motives. One, [they've] clearly stated that they have a short position. The other is an indirect motive, aimed at causing maximum harm to the shares of Adani Group, once again to further their motive of short selling," Gupta elaborated.