BJP President Nitin Gadkari may not be Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi‘s biggest fan, and he’s playing his cards pretty close to his chest when it comes to disclosing whether the BJP leader is in the running for the prime ministerial post.
In an interview with CNN-IBN , Gadkari made it clear that he was not in the race for the candidature and he was not even interested. He was non-committal over Modi’s chance for the moment as well.
“He is one of the frontrunners like many other senior leaders. But as long as the results of the elections don’t come out and we don’t prove our majority there is no question of projecting anyone as the frontrunner,” he said.
Gadkari has come under fire for his alleged involvement in allocating road and irrigation contracts to his close comrades in Nagpur, Ajay Sancheti and Mitesh Bhagaria, both of who are also ticket holders of the BJP.
But the BJP leader vehemently opposed this allegation.
“The projects that I have offered will help all the farmers who are committing suicide in the Vidarbha. The project is meant to provide irrigation for five districts,” he said.
Gadkari clarified that he had no links with Mitesh Bhagaria or his accession to a BJP seat.
He said,”He (Mitesh Bhagaria) belongs to our parivar. But I have never favoured him for any project or contract. If you have a single evidence by which you can prove it, I will leave politics.”
When asked whether these contracts were part of the kitty when he was Minister in Maharashtra, he pointed out that he had saved money for the government while awarding the contract for the Mumbai-Pune expressway to Reliance and also on several other flyover projects.
“I am a social entrepreneur executing social enterprise. I have taken a loan of 400 crore from nationalised banks for helping Vidarbha farmers. I have run into a collective loss of 70 crore,” he added.
Gadkari was however, sharp in his criticism of the UPA government. He responded with anger towards the Congress over the issue of FDI and said,”This government has betrayed the trust of the opposition and the people of the country.”
He went on record to state that if Mamata Banerjee brought a no-confidence motion against the government then BJP is going to support it which would be significant in the coarse of national politics.
When asked why Congress is still at the helm of the country, he said,”The Congress derives its strength from the Central Bureau of Investigation. They open a file every time and threaten the other parties to support them. CBI is becoming the Congress Bureau of Investigation.”