NEW DELHI (Reuters) The crisis that hit the Adani group deepened as hundreds of members of India’s opposition took to the streets on Monday to prompt an investigation into allegations by US short sellers against the group.

Shares in billionaire Gautam Adani’s company have plummeted since a pivotal Hindenberg Research report on Jan. 24, with the group’s cumulative market losses now exceeding $110 billion, with broader financial spillovers. causing fear of

Opposition parties last week called for a parliamentary panel to investigate the case, disrupting the process, but have questioned Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s closeness to Adani.

Protesters also expressed their anger on Monday at the investment in Adani Group by the State Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and the State Bank of India (SBI). Adani has issued a detailed rebuttal to critics’ allegations in the Hindenberg report that the company is manipulating stocks, using tax havens and incurring unsustainable debt.

The billionaire and Modi are from the same state, and Adani has repeatedly denied claims by Modi’s opponents that he benefited from a close relationship. The Modi government also denies claims that it supports Adani.

Demonstrators hoisted banners and chanted anti-Adani slogans at his mantar in Jantar, New Delhi. The Mughal-era observatory also serves as a general-purpose protest site. Some broke through barricades and forced police to arrest them. “A commoner invested money in a businessman’s (Gautam Adani) company and the government is trying to save him. The government supports the businessman (Adani), not the common man,” Uttar Pradesh state council said. The committee’s general secretary, Shiv Pandey, was quoted as saying by ANI news agency.

Hundreds of parliamentarians protested across the country, including outside the offices of the state-owned Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and State Bank of India (SBI), owned by Adani Group.

At Jantar Mantar, some people burned a suitcase with the SBI logo on it. In Mumbai, protesters held placards with Adani’s photo and the LIC logo and used bar charts to explain “how much LIC has invested in the Adani Group.” LIC holds a 4.23% stake in flagship Adani, with other holdings including a 9.14% stake in Adani Ports and a 5.96% stake in Adani Total Gas. SBI announced last week that its total exposure to Adani Group was his 0.9% of total loans, or about 270 billion rupees ($3.3 billion).

The LIC and SBI did not respond to requests for comment.

Nonetheless, a move by Adani Group on Monday to calm investors’ nerves failed to stem the market crisis, as it sought to regain stakes in Adani Port and Special Economic Zone, Adani Transmission and Adani Green Energy. said it would prepay a loan of about $1.1 billion. Shares of Adani Enterprises closed down 0.9% after falling 9.6% before trading opened on Monday. Adani Transmission dropped 10%, while Adani Green, Adani Total Gas Ltd, Adani Power and Adani Wilmar dropped 5%. Adani Ports is the only stock to buck the trend, up 9.3%.

serious crisis

The crisis poses 60-year-old Adani’s biggest commercial and defamatory challenge. Adani’s fortune has surged in recent years as he expands the conglomerate’s business interests from ports to mining.

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