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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Cong trying to defame me, will give tit for tat: Gadkari

PTI  Mumbai, October 31, 2012
First Published: 11:25 IST(31/10/2012) | Last Updated: 14:15 IST(31/10/2012)

Trashing accusations of money laundering and corruption against him, a combative BJP chief Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said he was ready to face a probe but asked why the Congress was reluctant to inquire into Robert Vadra's dealings.

Gadkari also rubbished allegations made by Arvind Kejriwal of his having business links with NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and controversial Rajya Sabha MP Ajay Sancheti. "I have no business links or partnership with them," he said.

Accusing the Congress of plotting to malign him and defame the BJP, Gadkari alleged the ruling party had roped in some media houses in the conspiracy.

"But my conscience is clear. I run a social enterprise to improve the lives of the farmers of Vidarbha. I will never do anything that will make the BJP worker hang his head in shame," the BJP leader said addressing hundreds of party workers from a make-shift dais erected on a tempo on his arrival at the Mumbai airport.

"I am not afraid. 'Eet ka jawab pathar se dena janta hoon' (I know how to give tit for tat). In the last three and half years of my tenure, BJP is on the path of progress and 2014 Lok Sabha elections will lead to formation of NDA government with a BJP leader as prime minister. This is the reason why the opponents are out to malign me through a media trial," he said.

Dubbing Congress as a "corrupt" party, Gadkari said, "When you cannot convince, you make efforts to confuse. This is what the Congress is doing to confuse our party workers."

Gadkari said he was ready for a probe into allegations against him. "I have not taken land or money from the government nor have I misused my political position. I am ready for an inquiry by why is not the 'damaad' of the Congress party," he said apparently referring to Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, facing accusations of dubious land deals with DLF.

A beleaguered Gadkari, who after skipping the poll campaign in Himachal had yesterday cancelled his meeting in New Delhi with Karnataka leaders, said his tenure as Maharashtra PWD Minister was clean and that no undue favour was shown in awarding contracts.

He dared the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra to prove there was no transparency in Mumbai-Pune expressway and flyover projects initiated and completed during his tenure as PWD minister in the state.

"I completed the expressway project estimated at Rs. 3600 crore for Rs. 1600 crore and the flyover projects for Rs. 1000 crore when those were estimated at Rs. 1800 crore, whereas the Bandra-Worli sealink initiated during my tenure at a cost of Rs. 421 crore was partially completed for Rs. 1800 crore. I saved public money in execution of these infrastructure projects," he said.

Thanking party workers for turning out in large numbers to show their solidarity with him, Gadkari said false accusations were being hurled at him ever since he became BJP president.

"The accidental death of seven-year-old daughter of a domestic help in my house was seen as a sexual assault case. Despite all investigations, this charge could not be proved. Similarly, I was accused of having a benami flat in the Adarsh housing society and having business links with Pawar and Sancheti. All these charges have been proved baseless," he said.

Gadkari said when he took up the issue of expediting the Ghosikhurd irrigation project and wrote letters to the Centre "the media projected as if I had taken up the cause of the contractors," he said.


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