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Hindenburg report targeted Adani Group, no need for JPC probe, says Sharad Pawar

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has said that US short-seller Hindenburg’s report “targeted” the Adani Group and there is no need for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the issue.

In an interview to NDTV, the NCP chief said, “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.

“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.”

However, Pawar clearly said he did not support the Congress’s demand for a JPC probe into the Hindenburg report that had stalled the functioning of Parliament.

After the demand was raised, he said, the Supreme Court set up a probe and appointed a committee with a retired Supreme Court judge, an expert, an administrator, and an economist. They were given guidelines and a timeframe and told to conduct an inquiry.

“If the Supreme Court, who no one can influence, were to conduct the inquiry, then there was a better chance of the truth coming to light. So, after the Supreme Court announced an inquiry, there was no significance of a JPC Probe. It was not needed.”

Asked by NDTV as to what he believed was the Congress’s intent behind demanding a JPC probe.

Pawar replied: “I cannot say what the intent was but I know that a committee appointed by judges of the Supreme Court was very important, this is what I know. Maybe the reasoning could have been that once a JPC starts, its proceedings are reported in the media on a daily basis. Perhaps someone would have wanted the issue to fester for two to four months, but the truth would never have come out.”

Pawar also made it clear he did not agree with Rahul Gandhi’s “Adani-Ambani” style of targeting big business houses. He said that this was merely a way to attack the government just as in the past “Tata-Birla” were targeted in politics to attack the government.

“This has been happening in this country for many years. I remember many years ago that when we came into politics, if we had to speak against the government, we used to speak against Tata-Birla. Who was the target? Tata-Birla. When we understood the contribution of Tata, we used to wonder why we kept on saying Tata Birla. But one had to target someone so we used to target Tata-Birla, he added.

“Today the name of Tata-Birla is not at the forefront, different Tata-Birla’s have come before the government. So these days if you have to attack the government, the name of Ambani and Adani is taken. The question is, that the people you are targeting, if they have done something wrong, misused their powers, then in a democracy you have a right to speak against them 100 percent, but to attack without anything meaningful, this I cannot understand,” Pawar explained.

  “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,” he remarked.

However, he said it was important to run Parliament so that the problems of the people are discussed and a solution should have been found. But the effort to find a solution was missing from both the opposition and the government, he observed.