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Congress supporters allege Mumbai International Airport ‘sold’ to Adani Group: Here is how they are spreading misinformation

The Adani Group had announced the acquisition of majority stakes in the Mumbai Airport from the GVK group in August 2020. Notably, GVK had been managing the airport since 2006.

On July 13, several Congress supporters and ‘Andolanjeevis’ alleged that the Government of India has “sold” the Mumbai International Airport to the Adani Group. Since the news broke out, the ‘Andolanjeevis’ are having a field day spreading fake information that Adani Group has bought the airport. Interestingly, this is not the first time such misinformation is being circulated on social media.

The half-baked information on the Airport takeover

Several netizens alleged that Mumbai Airport had been “sold” to Adani. One user wrote, “With Narendra Modi’s help, Adani group now controls 25% of airports (8 airports ) & 33% of air traffic in India.”

President of All India Professional Congress Delhi, Amitabh Dubey, alleged that the previous contractor GVK was haunted by the government so that they lose the contract to Adani Group.

Another Congress supporter wrote, “GDP of India went down, but wealth of Ambani-Adani doubled. India on sale under the able leadership of Modiji. Thank you, Modiji.”

Many other tweets have been drawing similar allegations.

What has actually happened?

On July 13, Gautam Adani, Chairman of Adani Group, informed in a tweet that the Adani Group has taken over the management of Mumbai International Airport. He wrote, “We are delighted to take over management of the world-class Mumbai International Airport. We promise to make Mumbai proud. The Adani Group will build an airport ecosystem of the future for business, leisure and entertainment. We will create thousands of new local jobs.”

The group will begin the construction of Greenfield airport in Navi Mumbai in August 2021, as per the press release issued by the company. The new international airport would be commissioned in 2024. The group had announced the acquisition of majority stakes in the Mumbai Airport from the GVK group in August 2020. Notably, GVK had been managing the airport since 2006. Adani Group also got a 74% stake in Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL).

The group has been managing six airports already. The new addition to their portfolio adds 25% of passenger footfall and 33% of India’s air cargo. As of now, it is the largest airport infrastructure company in India.

GVK was under pressure from lenders

The GVK Group, which has been managing the Mumbai airport, had been under pressure from the lenders. The group had agreed to sell a 50.5% stake in MIAL to Adanis. Another 23.5% stake was bought by Adanis from two South African investors in February this year. Gaurav Gupta and Karan Adani had joined the MIAL board after the acquisition process was completed.

In a statement, Gautam Adani had said, “Our larger objective is to reinvent airports as ecosystems that drive local economic development and act as the nuclei around which we can catalyse aviation-linked businesses. These include metropolitan developments that span entertainment facilities, e-commerce and logistics capabilities, aviation dependent industries, smart city developments, and other innovative business concepts.”

Adani Group was targeted when they took over Ahmedabad Airport too

This is not the first time Adani Group has been targeted by an uncontrolled mob of trolls over the social media network. In December 2020, When Adani Group took over management of Ahmedabad Airport, Congress supporters had made similar allegations. Scores of Congress supporters, including the National Convenor of Congress, Saral Patel, accused the Modi government of indulging in ‘crony capitalism’. They actively shared the posts on their social media accounts, alluding that a company owned by Gautam Adani is bestowed with the proprietorship of the Ahmedabad airport. In reality, Adani Group had won the bid to manage the airport.

Verdict: The tweets alleging Adanis have bought the Mumbai Airport are misleading.

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Anurag
B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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