While the Opposition parties led by the Congress created ruckus all through the second leg of the Budget Session over their demand for a JPC probe into the Adani issue, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, a key ally of the Congress in Maharashtra, has come out in support of the business tycoon.
With this Pawar has become the first key Opposition leader to throw his weight behind the beleaguered conglomerate. He has also flayed the narrative around US short-seller Hindenburg’s report on the Adani Group.
Also read: Congress accuses Adani Group of having links with Chinese firm; Rijiju responds
“Such statements were given by other individuals too earlier and there was a ruckus in parliament for a few days but this time out of proportion importance was given to the issue. The issues that were kept, who kept them, we had never heard of these people who gave the statement, what is the background. When they raise issues that cause a ruckus across the country, the cost is borne by the country’s economy, we cannot disregard these things. It seems this was targeted,” Pawar told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
Pawar said, “An individual industrial group of the country was targeted, that is what it seems. If they have done anything wrong, there should be an inquiry.” On the Congress’ insistence for a JPC probe into the Hindenburg report, he said he did not share the views of his Maharashtra ally.
‘SC panel effective’
The Maratha leader said the Supreme Court has already initiated an investigation and appointed a committee with a retired Supreme Court judge, an expert, an administrator, and an economist. They were given guidelines and a time-frame and told to conduct an inquiry. He contended that the JPC would not have served the purpose as its monitoring would have been in the hands of the ruling party while no one can influence the probe being carried out under the watchful eyes of the Supreme Court. He said there was no significance of a JPC probe once the Supreme Court initiated the investigations.
Pawar clarified that he did not agree with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s “Adani-Ambani” style of targeting big business houses. He said it was “quite meaningless” while referring to the “Tata-Birla” narrative of the past. However, the veteran leader refused to blame only the Congress, pointing out that other Opposition parties too shared the demand.
Also read: Adani Ports completes Rs 1,485 crore acquisition of Karaikal Port
‘Ignoring people’s issues’
“Today, Ambani has contributed in the petrochemical sector, does the country not need it? In the field of electricity, Adani has contributed. Does the country not need electricity? These are people who take up such responsibility and work for the name of the country. If they have done wrong, you attack, but they have created this infrastructure, to criticise them does not feel right to me,” said Pawar.
In an oblique reference to the Opposition’s unrelenting demand for a JPC probe, Pawar said it isn’t right to continuously ignore the issues of the common people. “When this happens, we are following the wrong path. This is what we need to understand,” he added.