Congress’ Chief Whip in the Rajya Sabha and general secretary (communication) Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said he does not see a “middle path” to end the logjam in Parliament as the Opposition’s demand for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the Adani issue was “non-negotiable” and there was no question of apology from Rahul Gandhi for his ‘democracy under attack’ remark.
In an interview with the news agency Press Trust of India on Saturday, Mr. Ramesh claimed that the government is rattled by 16 Opposition parties coming together to demand a JPC probe into the Adani issue and is resorting to a “3D orchestrated campaign -- distort, defame and divert”.
“I don’t see any middle path because our demand for a JPC is non-negotiable and the question of an apology does not arise,” Mr. Ramesh said when asked if a middle ground can be found to ensure that Parliament functions from Monday.
His comments come a day after Home Minister Amit Shah said the ongoing stand-off in Parliament can be broken as the government will go “two steps ahead” if the Opposition takes “two steps forward”.
The Congress leader also dismissed the BJP’s charge of Mr. Gandhi seeking intervention of foreign countries as “absolute nonsense” and asserted that whatever was said by the former Congress chief in the United Kingdom is a matter of record with its videos and transcripts available.
“He [Mr. Gandhi] said ‘India’s problems have to be solved internally through the electoral process, these are internal issues’. But he also said democracy in India is a public good and if India is democratic, not only India benefits but the world also benefits,” Mr. Ramesh said.
As part of the Hum Adani ke Hain Kaun (How are we connected to Adani) series, Mr. Ramesh also countered the Home Minister’s remarks that anyone who has anything to say about the Adani issue can approach the committee set up by the Supreme Court (SC).
He said the mandate of the SC-appointed panel is to provide an overall assessment of the situation including the relevant causal factors which have led to the volatility in the securities market in the recent past.
The panel’s mandate is to suggest measures to strengthen investor awareness, investigate whether there has been regulatory failure in dealing with the alleged contravention of laws pertaining to the securities market in relation to the Adani Group or other companies, to suggest measures to strengthen the statutory and/or regulatory framework, and secure compliance with the existing framework for the protection of investors, Mr. Ramesh said.
“Is it not obvious that any committee other than a JPC, whatever its merits, will be reduced to an exercise in legitimation and exoneration?” he added.