By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 11, Apr 2023, 22:15 pm IST | UPDATED: 11, Apr 2023, 22:18 pm IST
Contrary to his previous stand on the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) into allegations levelled against the Gautam Adani-led Group by US short-seller Hindenburg Research, NCP veteran Sharad Pawar on Tuesday that he would support such an inquiry for the sake of ''Opposition unity.'' Speaking to a private Marathi news channel, the veteran Maharashtra politician said, “If our friends in Opposition parties insist on a JPC probe, then for the sake of Opposition unity, we will not oppose it. We will not agree with their view, but to ensure our stand does not harm the Opposition unity, we will not insist on it (JPC probe).”
The NCP chief had earlier created a flutter in the Opposition ranks by saying that he was against a JPC probe on the issue and that Adani was being targeted. However, on Sunday, Pawar expressed apprehensions over the outcome of a JPC which would have majority members from the ruling party, and instead said issues like unemployment and inflation should be highlighted.
The strength of the JPC will be based on the strength of political parties in Parliament. BJP has over 200 MPs and will have maximum members in a 21-member JPC. The Opposition will have 5-6 members. Will such a small number be able to play an effective role? But still, if the Opposition parties insist on a JPC probe, I will have no objection to it,” the former Maharashtra chief minister said while speaking to the news channel.
Pawar also lashed out at Shiv Sena (UBT) chief Uddhav Thackeray, claiming that the latter did not consult the MVA partners - the NCP and the Congress - before resigning as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. "Taking decisions without discussion has its consequences. The fact that there was no discussion at that time cannot be denied," Pawar said adding that the Chief Minister was selected by all three parties on the basis of numbers.
Pawar’s party also later sang different tunes with reference to the row over PM Modi`s academic degree, the issue of EVMs that had created ripples of discontent in the three-party MVA, just ahead of the upcoming civic elections in Maharashtra. The NCP veteran asked should anyone's educational degree be a political issue in a country that's facing unemployment, law & order disruption, and inflation.
The Congress, however, kept quiet though the MVA partner Shiv Sena-UBT sought to downplay Pawar`s remarks saying it was nothing new. Amid all this, state Congress president Nana Patole said that 19 Opposition parties in the country are demanding a JPC probe into the Adani Group scam.
"Funds from the LIC, the SBI, and the EPFO have been illegally invested into the Adani Group. This is the people's hard-earned money and they have a right to get an account of it. If the truth in this has to be exposed, it can only come out through a JPC probe," he said.
He pointed out that earlier, several JPCs were set up for the so-called Bofors case, the stock market scam, and the soft drinks issue - the last one headed by Pawar. "If there is indeed no credence to the Adani Group scam, then why is Prime Minister Narendra Modi afraid of the JPC inquiry?" Patole told media persons.
He added that irrespective of the NCP`s alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Nagaland government or certain other local bodies, the Congress, through the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), will continue to fight against the BJP`s authoritarianism.