‘IndiaStandsWithAdani’ trends online

New Delhi: Many Indians voiced their support for Gautam Adani on Tuesday as the school dropout-turned-billionaire sealed a 2.5 billion dollar share sale in the face of criticism from a US short-seller.

“IndiaStandsWithAdani” was among the top trending hashtags on Twitter in response to losses totalling $65 billion for Adani group stocks since last week’s Hindenburg Research report, which flagged concerns over its debt levels and use of tax havens.

“I am proud of my country’s billionaire. Indians will not get fooled … India will not bend in front of any foreign power,” tweeted Mukund Jethava, a member of the IT unit of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat state.

Support online mirrored financial backing for Adani Enterprises, which despite having 30% anchor bids for its share sale last week had only amassed 3% subscriptions by Monday in the public offering, amid concerns it could fail.

Although smaller retail investors did not bid as much, posts with hashtags online included ‘IndiaINCSupportsAdani’ and #AdaniFPOFullySubscribed and were among the top trending on the social media platform, praising the billionaire.

On Sunday, Adani issued a detailed rebuttal to Hindenburg, calling the short-seller’s research report a “calculated attack on India, the independence, integrity and quality of Indian institutions, and the growth story and ambition of India”.

Hindenburg has said Adani’s response largely confirmed its findings and “ignored” its key questions, adding that it “found Adani’s lack of direct and transparent answers” on the allegations of use of offshore entities “telling”.

Adani Group’s CFO, Jugeshinder Singh, has likened the participation of Indian investors in the recent sell-off to the colonial-era Jallianwala Bagh massacre by British officials.

Asked why the market believed the Hindenburg report, Adani’s CFO had said: “In Jallianwala Bagh, only one Englishman gave an order, and Indians fired on other Indians … So am I surprised by the behaviour of some fellow Indians? No.”

Twitter buzzed with various memes questioning the Hindenburg report on Tuesday, and other praised the performance of the Adani group after the secondary share sale was fully subscribed.

 

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