Pawar’s spanner in the works of the opposition’s anti-Adani campaign comes at a time when Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s outreach to other opposition parties to solidify their unity in the run-up to the 2024 parliamentary elections.
In an interview to Adani-owned NDTV, Sharad Pawar questioned the credentials and motives of the international shortseller (Hindenburg) whose claim that Adani Group’s stocks were overvalued due to alleged manipulation by the promoters and others, triggered a crash in their share prices eroding their networth and forcing them to abandon their plans to raise funds as well as expansion.
“And these issues which were raised, who brought them forward. . . what was their background, it was important to assess this. A price had to be paid for this by the country’s economy. This cannot be ignored. It seems they (Adani Group) were being targeted,” Pawar said.
SC committee on Adani issue will have limited terms of reference: Congress
The Congress on Saturday said the Supreme Court committee to look into the Hindenburg research report on Adani group has limited terms of reference and “cannot bring out the deep nexus between” the prime minister and the billionaire businessman.
“The Supreme Court Committee has very limited terms of reference. It cannot bring out the deep nexus between PM and Adani,” said AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh.
“Only a JPC can find answers to the HAHK (Hum Adanike Hain Kaun) series of 100 questions and more that are emerging,” he also said, adding that the “JPCs in 1992 and 2001 were both worthwhile exercises”.
Congress on defensive after NCP Chief Sharad Pawar says Adani Group was ‘targeted’
Nitish refuses to join issue with Pawar
The JD(U) supreme leader, whose party, in Parliament, has been supporting the demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe, however, did not seem impressed with Pawar’s preference for an investigation by a “Supreme Court-appointed Committee”.
“It is for him (Pawar) to elaborate on what he has said. Different people have different opinions”, said Kumar.
Adani affair should be probed by JPC: Maharashtra Congress chief
Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole on Saturday said his party was firm on its demand of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the allegations against the Adani group. “Irrespective of NCP president Sharad Pawar’s opinion, there must be a JPC inquiry to find out the truth about the scam,” he said.
Patole said a JPC will have members of opposition parties nevertheless, and a probe by a parliamentary committee was needed for the scam to be unearthed.
‘Heed Pawar’: Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde
Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday called upon the national opposition to listen to the former Union minister’s advice in the matter.
“The Congress has launched an agitation demanding an explanation for the Rs 20,000 crore of the Adani Group. Even (ex-CM) Uddhav Thackeray has repeatedly spoken on this issue. Now, Sharad Pawar has commented. Hence those who are protesting (against Adani) should take note of his comments,” Shinde said.
Sharad Pawar’s stand on Adani will not affect opposition unity, says Sanjay Raut
Talking to reporters, Shiv Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said Pawar has not given a clean chit but expressed his views of options on how to carry out the probe.
“Be it (West Bengal chief minister) Mamata Banerjee or NCP, there could be different opinions about Adani, but that will not lead to cracks in (opposition) unity in Maharashtra or in the country,” asserted Raut, a key aide of former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Pawar may have his own view, the opposition stands together: Supriya Shrinate
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said she did not feel that the opposition unity was being affected and added while Pawar may have his own view, the opposition stood together.
“The entire opposition stands united and this was seen in this budget session of Parliament and that is why the government is baffled and disturbed and is now trying to control the internet,” she said.
Shrinate said Pawar’s remark may be his own as he is an eminent person, but the Adani issue raises serious security and other concerns.
“We will continue to raise such questions from the Congress platform…,” she said.
Twenty-odd opposition parties have come together recently amid talks of taking this unity forward to 2024.
(With agency inputs)