A day after he came out in support of the Adani group, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Saturday said he was not opposed to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the charges against the conglomerate, but a Supreme Court committee will be more effective.
Holding a news conference, Pawar also said he did not know about the antecedents of US-based Hindenburg Research, and “we must decide how much focus should be on this”.
The apex court decided to appoint a panel of retired Supreme Court judges to examine the issue and directed that its report be submitted within a certain period, he noted.
“I am not completely opposed to the JPC. There have been JPCs and I have been the chairman of some JPCs. The JPC will be constituted on the basis of majority (in Parliament). Instead of a JPC, I am of the opinion that the Supreme Court committee is more useful and effective,” Pawar said.
Although 18-19 opposition parties have come together on the Adani issue, not all of them will get representation on the JPC as some of them have only one or two members in Parliament, the NCP chief further said.
If a JPC has 21 members, about 15 of them will be from the ruling party, he added.
He was not aware of the antecedents of Hindenburg Research which has alleged stock manipulation and accounting fraud in firms belonging to billionaire Gautam Adani, Pawar said.
While the Adani group has denied the allegations, the Congress, led by Rahul Gandhi, and other opposition parties have been seeking to corner the Narendra Modi government over the issue and insisting on a JPC probe.
“One foreign company takes a position about the situation in the country. We should decide how much focus should be on this. Instead of this (JPC), a Supreme Court panel is more effective,” Pawar further said.
On Pawar’s stand, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the NCP may have its view but 19 like-minded opposition parties are convinced that the “PM-linked Adani Group” issue is real and very serious.
Similarly, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday said Pawar’s stand will not lead to cracks in the opposition unity in Maharashtra as well as in the country.
In his interview to NDTV aired on Friday, Pawar had criticised the narrative around Hindenburg Research’s report, and added that “out-of-proportion importance was given to the issue.” To a question on Saturday as to whether he supported the Adani group in the TV interview, Pawar said he had not said anything like that.
“I said earlier when we attacked the government of the day, we would name Tata-Birla. Now we do not take these names. But Tatas have contributed to the development of the country,” he said.
People are facing more important issues like unemployment, price rise and problems of farmers, the former Union minister said.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)