Won’t go back on JPC demand: Cong

New Delhi : 23 March -Congress on Wednesday claimed that the Government wants the party to take back its demand for a JPC on the Adani issue and in return it would drop the call for an apology over Rahul Gandhi’s remarks in the UK, asserting there was no question of any such compromise.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said efforts are being made since the last few days that a “formula” or middle path is found with both the Opposition and the Government relenting.

“This is unacceptable to us, these two things are completely unconnected. One is a reality. The questions we are asking are fundamental questions, this has happened. The BJP’s demand of apology is just baseless, it is on false allegations. So to say that you take back your demand then we will take back the demand for an apology, we are not ready for any such bargain,” Jairam said at AICC Press conference.

Jairam however clarified that no one from the government has talked directly to the opposition on the issue and is only being known unofficially. He said Rahul Gandhi has written to the Speaker to be allowed to speak under rule 357 (in the Lok Sabha), saying it is his democratic right and what the speaker decides on it only time will tell.

“But to say that there is a formula, it is not acceptable to us. We are not agreeable to this because the two things are like ‘chalk and cheese’ between the demand for a JPC and a demand for an apology. The demand for apology that is being repeated, it is being done so that attention is diverted from the Adani issue. Their strategy is 3D — distort, defame and divert. They distorted Rahul Gandhi’s remarks, defamed him and now want to divert attention from the Adani issue,” he said.

To a suggestion by TMC leader Derek O’Brien that state governments can initiate investigation in their own states, Ramesh said, “It is laughable. Those who have given this suggestion, their only intention is to give a clean chit to the government.”

“This is the question at the doorstep of the prime minister. How can state governments probe into these issues, it is the responsibility of the central government. This is a non-serious suggestion. Those who have given this suggestion neither know about the economy nor politics,” he said.