UP cancels Adani’s tenders even as RSS’ Organiser inspires a social media onslaught alleging a conspiracy against ‘Adani brand of nationalism’

UP and AP are two Indian states apart from the Maharashtra HNPT that have cancelled Adani tenders and penalized the conglomerate for concealing facts, bad business practice; yet RSS’ Organiser and BJP IT cells trolls equate the exposure of Adani by Hindenburg to an attack on ‘India’


First published on 09 Feb 2023

From about four days ago, two articles in Organiser, the mouthpiece of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS) launched its unique defence of Gautam Adani and his group and predictably set of an IT cell driven twitter flurry bad-mouthing senior independent journalists and not even sparing India’s largest philanthropist, Azim Premji. From Ravish Kumar, Abhisar Sharma, Seema Chishti to independent media outlets, this all out diatribe is clearly aimed at sketching a tale of a conspiracy that stretches far and wide with a motive to impact the 2024 general election. Two articles appeared on the web portal of the Organiser, one of February 4 the other on February 6.

The Adani group has been in the midst of an international storm, amid speculations of serious manipulations in the investment market after the New York investment firm, Hindenburg Research, published a report calling the Adani Group “the largest con in corporate history”. This was on January 24, 2023. In a series of statements, the group responded by saying that the report was “maliciously mischievous”, “un-researched” and intended to “sabotage” a secondary share offering of the group’s flagship listed company, Adani Enterprises. The group also said that Hindenburg had published its report “without making any attempt to contact us or verify the factual matrix”. This did not stop the impact of the Hindenburg report on Adani’s credibility, the fall in share prices and huge depletion in the personal wealth of the politically connected billionaire and the political maelstrom within India, given the well-documented proximity he (and other) such capitalists have with India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi.

Before we get to the source of the ‘nationalism badge’ sought to be tagged on Adani, the fact that Uttar Pradesh, headed by Ajay Bisht aka Adityanath, a ‘model BJP state’, it’s state-owned Madhyanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited abruptly cancelled the tender that included the Adani Group’s bid for the supply of around 7.5 million smart meters estimated at ₹5,400 crore. This was on February 4, 2023. The cancellation of Adani’s bod, reported Moneycontrol came in the wake of serious objections raised by Indian Powers Engineers Federation (IPEF) and UP State Power Consumers Council that despite being the lowest tender, the per metre rate quoted by Adani was 67 per cent higher than the Rs. 6,000 per metre rate standardised by REC Limited, a public sector undertaking that promotes and finances power projects in India.

This recent decision, has more to do with accountability in public finances than rhetoric. And UP is a hard Hindutva state. The RSS mouthpiece is silent on this as are the army brigade of the far right on twitter.

Then there is the southern state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) nearly ten months ago as reported by the Economic Times. The AP government cancelled bids made for two separate tenders by Adani Enterprises to supply imported coal as the prices quoted were too high, two state government officials told Reuters. ET reported that this ‘ is the first time in recent years that a major government tender for imported coal has been cancelled over high prices. Details on the cancellation have not been previously reported.India has asked utilities to step up coal imports to address a domestic shortfallexpensive imports could add to the financial woes of state government-owned, debt-laden power distributors, which have overdue payments of nearly $15 billion to power generators. A compliant ‘national’ commercial media has let news of these two and distinct happenings, state governments of the Indian union cancelling big-shot Adani tenders on grounds of their non-viability. 

Both the Andhra Pradesh High Court and later the Bombay High Court had rejected the plea of Adani and the latter had even fined the conglomerate: The Bombay High Court had in June while rejecting the Adani Ports’ plea against its disqualification as non-meritorious also imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh for filing a case that lacked merit. Reason? The Financial Express had then reported that “JNPA had on May 2 (2022) written to Adani Ports that it was disqualified from participating in further stages of the subject tender process for upgradation, operation, maintenance and transfer of its container terminal for 30 years through Public Private Partnership. Adani Ports was disqualified as it had not revealed about termination of the concessionaire agreement between Adani Vizag Coal Terminal and Vishakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) in 2020.” Congressman and senior lawyer AM Singvi had appeared for Adani ports.

These significant developments have escaped the eyes and ears of the public due to skeletal media analyses and follow-ups. Now, fast on the heels of the Hindenburg report, RSS’ with its huge power and clout has gotten into the act.

Back to the RSS and Organiser, though. First came a piece from the desk collated by one Yatharth Sikka based on the tweets of @vijaygajera and @thehawkeyex on February 4. Gajera whose social media name is Vijay Patel has over 110,000 follower and dubs himself a bhakt of Mahadev, proud Hindu activist and investigative farmer, son of a farmer and founder of @onlyfactindia. This handle also has coloured and targeted tweets, also constantly having rundowns with Altnews’ is Mohammed Zubair. The second handle proudly claims to have provoked criminal action against TMC member Saket Gokhale apart from pursing a clearly rightwing agenda. From this it is unclear whether the IT cell with its vast political support base has fed the Organiser or now with two published articles, Organiser has provided the fuel for the myriad accounts on twitter and Facebook spawned by the powerful Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its octopus-like affiliates.

The first article in the RSS mouthpiece,Decoding the hit job by Hindenburg against Adani Group draws a parallel between Hindenberg’s motives and what Soros is alleged to have done to ‘break the Bank of England and the Bank of Thailand’. It goes on to make wild allegations against Bob Brown Foundation (BBF), supposedly an environmentalist NGO, runs adaniwatch.org and slurs all the protests post 2017 “started by a few NGOs under the leadership of 350.org NGO. They have formed the group #StopAdani to stop this project.”

This narrative completely ignores the history of the protests that go back to 2015 when Australia’s indigenous people Wangan and Jagalingou, traditional owners of the land proposed to host Adani Group’s $12-billion mining project in the Galilee Basin of Queensland, have now sought an urgent intervention from the United Nations (UN) to stop proposed development of the massive Carmicheal coal mine.

Instead, the RSS organ attempts to draw sinister linkages between the NGO, 350.org and Tides Foundation to Soros and Tom Steyer, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller, Omdia and Bill Gates. Then it takes another leap to link the Indian NGO National Foundation for India (NFI) stating that it also got funds from Soros, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller, Omidyar, Bill Gates, and Azim Premji. Now Azim Premji’s NGO IPSMF was started, Organiser claims to ‘fund” Altnews, The Wire, The Caravan, The News Minute, etc., dubbed as ‘propaganda news websites’, when they are in fact pallbearers of independent media today. Seema Chishti, wife of CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury is under attack with the RSS magazine describing her as receiving a ‘Media Fellowship adviser at NFI” stating as if that is significant that ‘s She is the Editor of The Wire’ and also writes for ‘the Caravan. Seema Chishti, a senior journalist of repute has only last night (February 8 served a legal notice on the RSS Organiser and to Vijay Gajera/Patel demanding that they “stop and desist’ from any such scurrilous writing or legal action will follow. 

Interestingly, the Organiser is silent on the fact that the IPSMF has also supported Swarajya. Through its dubious and scurrilous reportage, in one fell swoop, the Organiser, paints independent journalists with a tarnished brush. Why? Is the attack on the conglomerate with its stated and visible proximity to the BJP and the powers that be, what has actually driven the parliamentary backbone, the hard-line RSS into agro defence mode?

Senior and popular journalist Ravish Kumar in his hard-hitting programme on his official YouTube channel in a hard-hitting programme on Monday, February 6: he titled Kya Yogi Adani ke khilaaf hai?, did a sarcastic take on the Organiser’s claims asking whether after this rather pointed and humiliating loss of tenders in UP, days before the much publicized ‘Rs 70,000 crore Global Summit in Lucknow the state’s capital, Gautam Adani the head of the massive corporate giant will show up there, and if so, what he would say??!! Ravish Kumar asks whether Adityanath who has just on February 4 cancelled the Adani tender for power electric metres after an assessment that they are 67 per cent would now be seen by the RSS-BJP IT cell brigade as ‘anti-national’?

A day before this, R Kumar did a satire around Hindenburg and its offices after a barrage of false tweets on social media alleged that he had been ‘fired’ from NDTV after the unethical Adani takeover of the television channel when in actuality, the popular Hindi journalist had resigned in protest on November 30, 2022! The  tweet of one Gaurav Pradhan Gurukul had cooked up facts stating that Ravish visited New York for a month where the Hindenburg’s offices are located when in fact the journalist has not travelled to the USA for a while now!

In this uniquely twisted  analysis published on its portal on February 6, titled Hindenburg Controversy: A Malafide intent to halt India’s economic growth authored by one Sunil Gupta, has blithely equated the exposure of the precarity of the Adani empire with an attack by a ‘foreigner enemy.’ An ingenuous assessment of India’s economy that ignores the human development indicators or the condition of the micro, medium and small-scale enterprises, joblessness or unemployment or nutrition levels among vast sections of Indians, this second special story actually states that, “ Hindenburg Research’s report on Adani could be a possible attempt by a foreign enemy in a bid to derail the country’s growth engine. 

In typical RSS style, it has pulled out of context one sentence from an otherwise detailed crisp and balanced report in the prestigious magazine. This paragraph from the report would give readers the real picture: “Mr. Adani is widely regarded as a master operator, with a genius for navigating the complicated legal and political landscape of Indian capitalism. Some investors have, though, occasionally expressed concerns about his group’s governance and opaque finances. That is the focus of Hindenburg’s report. It describes a complex network of funds and shell companies, some based in Mauritius, which interact with 578 subsidiaries spread through the seven publicly listed firms. Last year, Hindenburg claims, these entities engaged in 6,025 related-party transactions.” However, the mouthpiece of the RSS has cleverly used Economist’s tweet: https://twitter.com/TheEconomist/status/1619657503704326145
“The episode has drawn the world’s attention to one of India’s corporate success stories—and a significant motor of the country’s recent economic growth”

Meanwhile the woes for Adani only grow. Not only has the conglomerate been pulled off the listed companies in the US exchange, the Credit Swisse and Citibank are expressing serious concerns in further bankrolling the outfit. A pending contact with France remains unsigned even as a big-ticket power deal with Adani power and our neighbor Bangladesh is seriously under scrutiny. The Daily Star, a prominent newspaper from Bangladesh recently published an article, stating that “ The 25-year power import deal with Adani “is hardly favourable for Bangladesh.”. This was on January 4, 2023 21 days before the Hindenburg expose, lest the conspiracy theorists jump in. The 25-year-old deal is being seen as possible because of the Narendra Modi administration’s patronization of the tycoon and the current leadership’s cozying up to New Delhi. The Daily Star says states, “Whether this power import from Adani Godda Coal-Fired Power Plant would be beneficial for Bangladesh has been in discussion for a while now. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), in its 2018 report titled “Adani Godda power project: Too expensive, too late, and too risky for Bangladesh,” dubbed this power import as “too expensive and a poor strategic fit for Bangladesh.” According to its analysis, the reason for this relatively higher price is, instead of the local coal, Adani will use the coal imported from its stranded Carmichael coal mine in Australia. The imported coal will then be transported for 700km by railway from the seaport to the Godda Power Plant in the Jharkhand state of India. And all these costs will be passed on to Bangladesh, thanks to the favourable power purchase agreement for Adani.” The newspaper commented on a Washinton Post Particle writing on “”How political will often favours a coal billionaire and his dirty fossil fuel.” In this report, the Adani Group’s coal power export agreement with Bangladesh has been highlighted as an example of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s extraordinary patronage for the conglomerate, which has even crossed the borders. Citing a source from the Indian foreign ministry, the report mentioned that, during his first visit to Bangladesh in June 2015, Modi asked Bangladesh to “facilitate the entry of Indian companies in the power generation, transmission and distribution sector of Bangladesh,” one of the beneficiaries of which is the Adani Group. The Indian government however claims that the power import deal signed afterwards with Adani, on the basis of unsolicited proposals under the controversial Quick Enhancement of Electricity and Energy Supply (Special Provision) Act, 2010, and is beneficial for Bangladesh (Prothom Alo, June 10, 2015), after having the confidential 163-page power purchase agreement reviewed by three industry analysts, The Washington Post concluded that “the 25-year Godda deal is hardly favourable for Bangladesh.” Reason ? “First, Bangladesh must pay Adani Power Plant roughly USD 450 million a year in capacity and maintenance charges, regardless of whether it generates any electricity, which is very high by the industry standards. Second, the coal to fuel the power plant will be transported on an Adani-owned ship from Australia to an Adani-owned port in eastern India, then it will be transported to the plant on a stretch of Adani-built railway. The electricity generated will be sent to the border through an Adani-built high-voltage transmission line. As per the contract, shipping and transmission costs will be fully passed on to Bangladesh. Third, while other agreements with foreign power suppliers include clauses that would put a cap on the prices Bangladesh would pay if the cost of coal crossed a certain threshold, the Adani agreement stipulates that Bangladesh will pay the market price, according to The Washington Post report.”

From Lucknow to Vizag to Dacca and Paris, the deals that this powerful and spawning company is signing up are coming up for ethical questioning. Yet for the IT cell trolls and the RSS organizer acting in cohorts the questioning is a sign of a questionable patriotism. The battle is so much about propaganda rather than facts; time will tell which side triumphs.

Some of the scurrilous tweets by the far right;

https://mobile.twitter.com/#HindenburgExposed Mr. Ravish Kumar – Anti India Journalist was fired after Adani takes over NDTV. After that He visited New York for 1 month. During the stay of 1-month Ravish Kumar visited Hindenburg New York office 7 times. Each meeting lasted for avg 2 hrs. 1/n

The long message is circulating on the WhatsApp, a copy of that is posted by many people on twitter as a thread of tweets. This thread of tweets is one of them: 


We Hindus respect and adore people like, Azim Premji. But, do you know, he is one of the biggest financier for all Left-Liberal, anti-Hindu media. His personal trust nurtures anti-national elements in our country. Similar funding is being done by Murthi/Tatas


Azim Premji stories are now circulating in WA groups, people are waking up to mentality of these people, from Bollywood to Business. 


I’m glad Wipro couldn’t find traction. Azim Premji funds many initiatives to break India. Wipro group should go bankrupt in near future. 


Thank you so much to all the donors of IPSMF! Just because of your funding, this Arfa and others are able to create propaganda which now even Pakistanis are sharing against India! Thank you, Azim Premji, and Nilekani family for leading IPSMF!








Hindi tweets against Azim Premji:



The case against Adani Group’s power supply project in Bangladesh reaches Calcutta High Court

400 academics & activists express solidarity with fish workers’ protest against Adani International Seaport at Vizhinjam, Kerala

Adani group defamation case: Guj HC turns down Newsclick’s plea against interim injunction

Dow Jones removes Adani Ports from index for alleged ‘links with Myanmar military’



Related Articles