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"SC panel more reliable than JPC": Pawar reiterates stand amid Opp ruckus over Adani
Mumbai: After his explosive claim on the report by Hindenburg Research against the Adani Group, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said there are more important issues such as price rise and farmers' issues that the Opposition should raise instead of giving undue importance to the report by the US short-seller.
"Nowadays, the names of Ambani-Adani are being taken (to criticise the government) but we need to think about their contribution to the country. I think other issues such as unemployment, price rise, and farmers issues are more important and should be raised by the Opposition," the senior Opposition leader said. Addressing a press conference on Saturday, after his explosive interview with a television news channel, Pawar said there is "no need" for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the Adani issue as the Supreme Court-appointed committee will be more reliable and unbiased in its probe into the claims made in the report against the Indian conglomerate.
"There is a certain structure to a JPC. If a JPC comprises 21 members, 15 of them will be from the government side, as the other parties can only have a maximum of 6 members. So, in all likelihood, the JPC report will only reaffirm the government's position in the matter. So, I think instead of a JPC, a Supreme Court-appointed committee will be more reliable and unbiased," Pawar said.
On whether his statement would harm the Opposition unity at a time when major Opposition players are adamant on a JPC into the Adani row, Pawar said, "As far as the Opposition unity is concerned, I do not see the demand for a JPC have anything to do with it. My party has extended support to the JPC demand but I feel that the panel will be dominated by ruling party members. That's why I am saying that the demand for a JPC probe should not be linked with Opposition unity."
Reiterating that a Supreme Court-appointed committee will be reliable, the NCP chief said one should introspect on the relevance one should give to a "foreign company" and the position it has taken on an "internal matter" of the country.
"I don't know what Hindenburg is. A foreign company is taking a stand on an internal matter of this country and we should think that how much relevance that company has for us. We should, instead, demand a Supreme court-monitored probe by a committee appointed by it," said Pawar.
The NCP chief's remarks are at variance with those of the Congress, which has insisted on a JPC probe into the Hindenburg report on the Adani group. Several other Opposition parties have supported the demand for a JPC probe.
"....Someone gave a statement, and it created uproar in the country. Such statements were given earlier too, which created ruckus. But the importance given to the issue this time was out of proportion. There was a need to think who raised the issue (gave report). We had not heard the name who gave the statement. What is the background?. When such issues are raised, they create uproar in the country, the cost is borne ....how it impacts the economy. We can't ignore such things, and it seems (it) was targeted," Pawar told NDTV in an interview.
He said the SC-appointed committee has been given guidelines, and a timeframe to submit its probe report.
He said the Opposition, which has been raising a ruckus in the Parliament to press for a JPC, should realise that the BJP has a majority in both Houses.
"Today, who has the majority in Parliament? The ruling party. The demand was against the ruling party. The committee to probe against the ruling party will have majority of members from the ruling party. How will the truth come out, there can be apprehensions. If Supreme Court investigates the matter, where there is no influence, there is a better chance of the truth coming out. And once the SC announced a committee for probing the matter, there was no need of JPC (probe)," he said.
The second half of the budget session saw continuous disruptions over the demand for a JPC into the Hindenburg-Adani row.
The Supreme Court had last month set up a six-member expert committee "to investigate if there was a regulatory failure in dealing with the alleged contravention of laws pertaining to the securities market in relation to the Adani Group or other companies".
The committee was asked to give the report in two months. (ANI)