New Delhi: Postponing its press conference by some minutes to avoid clash with that of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) Thursday urged all opposition parties to investigate the Adani Group in their states.
“As a constructive, time-bound way forward, we suggest that all opposition parties should conduct an investigation in their respective states against the loot and plunder of the Adani Group of companies. We appeal to the BRS in Telangana, to the AAP in Punjab, to Congress in Himachal, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, to the Left in Kerala, DMK in Tamil Nadu and to the JMM in Jharkhand to investigate the group,” Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien said.
“It may be protected by the central government with cotton wool, but our appeal to friends that run state governments is that they bare their (Adani) truth to the people.”
Asked about the issue of opposition unity and his party’s refusal to join the opposition march on the Adani-Hindenburg revelations, O’Brien said: “There is this obsession about opposition unity…Congress party needs to make up its mind. In Tripura, you will be friends with the Left; in Bengal you fight us tooth and nail in 2021 (Assembly polls); then in Meghalaya you write a litany on how bad the Trinamool Congress is; then in Lok Sabha your leader will make wild charges; and then in Kerala you fight your friend from Tripura and Bengal…”
The TMC will not sign a letter on a Congress party letterhead, he said. “You cannot send us a letter at 10.30 pm. We do not have an alliance with the Congress.”
At the same press briefing, Lok Sabha MP Saugata Roy pointed out that even the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which is an ally of the Congress, skipped the Wednesday march from Parliament House to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office.
The Trinamool Congress has maintained a discrete distance from the Congress-led opposition block of 16 parties including the NCP, the AAP, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India, the Janata Dal (United), the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, among others.
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Parliament a ‘deep, dark chamber’
Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of disrupting Parliament, O’Brien said that Parliament, under the Modi government, has been turned into a “deep, dark chamber.”
He cited instances such as the four years that the Lok Sabha has functioned without a Deputy Speaker, the average time (“10-12 mins”) spent in the passage of a Bill and the fact that there have been only six discussions in the Lok Sabha under Rule 193 and none raised by an opposition member in the Rajya Sabha under Rule 267. He added that of every 10 Bills passed by Parliament, four are ordinances.
“The BJP does not want Parliament to run because the government is answerable to Parliament and Parliament is accountable to people. The BJP does not want to answer the people,” he said.
O’Brien sidestepped media queries about a now deleted tweet by his party colleague and Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra in which she Wednesday accused the Speaker of only allowing BJP ministers to speak in the last three days.
Asked about party colleague Saket Gokhale who is in prison, O’Brien said: “If Saket buys the washing machine marketed by Modi and manufactured by Shah, he will be back in Mumbai in 3–4 weeks. Unfortunately, he is a brave man. We are fighting it out.”
The TMC spokesperson, who was behind bars in a cheating case, was arrested by the ED in January in connection with alleged misuse of money gathered through crowd-funding.
(Edited by Tony Rai)
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