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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

I quit because of political conspiracy: Gadkari

IANS  New Delhi, January 23, 2013
First Published: 13:40 IST(23/1/2013) | Last Updated: 13:41 IST(23/1/2013)

Greeting Rajnath Singh on his appointment as the new president of Bharatiya Janata Party, his predecessor Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday alleged a "political conspiracy" was behind his decision to opt against a second term.

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"I congratulate him (Rajnath Singh). I have worked under his leadership... He has the ability to make us win the 2014 election under his leadership," Gadkari said in a speech in New Delhi.

"As far as the election for a second term is concerned, there had been attempts through a political conspiracy to link me to an issue I was not related to," Gadkari said, referring to the allegations of corruption against him.

Corruption charges levelled against Gadkari include those of improper business dealings as the chairman of the Purti Group and land grab. He has, however, denied all the charges, adding that he is not linked to the Purti Group.

On Tuesday, the income tax department carried out on-field investigations at nine locations in Mumbai that belonged to the alleged shell companies related to the Purti Group. The group, however, said the companies on which the raids were carried out did not belong to it.

"Yesterday, there was a similar attempt and I felt they were trying to malign my party using me," Gadkari said.

He said he wanted to place the interests of his party before him, therefore, he decided not to seek another term.

"I felt the party should come first. The economic situation is bad; inflation is high; foreign exchange reserve is empty; and foreign investment is not coming. In such a situation, if the people look for an alternate, they believe the BJP has the capacity to change the situation," he said.

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