ALTHOUGH OPPOSITION parties stalled Parliament for the second straight day on Friday, demanding an impartial probe into allegations of accounting fraud and stock manipulation against the Adani Group, sources said the parties are likely to participate in the discussions on the motion of thanks on the President’s address on Monday.
Sources in the Opposition camp said most of the parties were of the view that the Opposition should allow the discussion to take place in both Houses as it will give them an opportunity to corner the government on various matters, including the Adani issue.
Sources said most parties were of that view that disruption of the proceedings should be kept minimal and be adopted as the last resort. But given the nature of revelations, which had surfaced, it was decided that they should raise the issue on Thursday and Friday to send a political message.
The Opposition parties are likely to stage a protest at the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament on Monday on the Adani issue and allow the discussion to begin in the afternoon. “Unless the ruling side comes up with some disruption tactics, Parliament should resume normal functioning, and the discussion on President’s address will begin in the afternoon,” a senior Opposition leader said.
Sources said while the parties are united on raising the Adani issue, they have different perceptions on the nature of the investigation they should demand. The Congress has demanded that the government set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to look into the allegations of accounting fraud and stock manipulation.
But parties such as Trinamool Congress and the Left are demanding a Supreme Court monitored probe. Given the two strands of opinion, the parties ended up demanding both – either a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) or probe headed by the Supreme Court or monitored by the Chief Justice of India – on Thursday.
The TMC and the Left feel the JPC would be a futile exercise given the majority the BJP has in Parliament. “We don’t expect the government to concede any of our demands. But what if the government sets up a JPC packed with members of the ruling side and it gives a clean chit to the government… it will serve no purpose. Moreover, nothing has ever come out of JPC reports,” a non-Congress leader said.
The Congress, on the other hand, feels a JPC probe will keep the issue alive, which will be politically beneficial.
Having raised both the demands, the Opposition leaders met again on Friday at Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge’s chamber to review the floor strategy. “Although we decided to take a final call on continuing our protest on Monday morning, the overwhelming view was that we should allow the discussion on President’s address to take place,” a senior leader said.
As many as 16 parties attended Friday’s meeting. Among them were the Congress, DMK, Samajwadi Party, AAP, BRS, Shiv Sena Uddhav Thackeray faction, RJD, JDU, CPM, CPI, NCP, National Conference, Muslim League and RSP.
“Parliament adjourned for another day because Opposition demands a JPC on PM-linked Adani issue that is playing havoc on the savings of crores of Indians. Modi sarkar says MPs are wasting public money. What about the crores people have lost over the last few days of MahaMegaScam?,” Congress communication head Jairam Ramesh said.