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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

RSS' Gurumurthy defends Gadkari on graft charges

IANS  New Delhi, November 07, 2012
First Published: 19:31 IST(7/11/2012) | Last Updated: 19:33 IST(7/11/2012)

RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy defended the BJP's beleaguered president Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday, saying that the companies which invested in Purti Group belong to Nagpur Group, which have no political connections.

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"I examined legal and moral aspects. The 14 companies in question belong to Nagpur Group that invested in Purti in 2004 and informed the income tax department," Gurumurthy, a chartered accountant, said on microblogging site Twitter.

Gadkari has been under attack for misusing his position to get investment for his Purti Group. Gurumurthy has been on the forefront of crisis management for the BJP following lawyer MP Ram Jethmalani's claim that some top party leaders favoured Gadkari's ouster.

Gurumurthy said Gadkari was clean.

"The Nagpur Group has in writing to financial institutions said that the 14 companies are theirs in 2003-04. They are not obliging Nitin now, saying so," he tweeted.

"Nagpur Group is a reputed group of a Jain family with a Rs. 2,000 crore asset base. Not a marginal player. Manages Rs. 15,000 crore worth Jain charities. The only daughter of the family is a Jain sadhwi (nun)," he said.

Gurumurthy added that the family is media shy and had no political connections.

"They are media shy. So don't want to be in media light. I have met them, interrogated them and ascertained the truth," he wrote.

"I have verified that Nagpur Group has no political connection. No government contract. But they are worried about media exposure. Rightly. Their media shyness has been taken advantage of by the media. Nitin (Gadkari) is not even aware of how they have arranged to keep their investments," he said.

Media reports have raised questions over the source of funds for Purti Power and Sugar Ltd. controlled by Gadkari.

It was claimed that major investments and large loans to Purti were made by construction firm Ideal Road Builders (IRB) group, which had won contracts between 1995 and 1999 when Gadkari was the public works department (PWD) minister in Maharashtra.

Gurumurthy also attacked the media. "Media lacks skill and patience to study issues. Allegations are sufficient without study and proof. Media-shy businessmen don't talk. The media is in the grip of competitive sensationalising. This is not investigative journalism. Shouting, screaming and abusing is not debate," he said.

He also slammed media for questioning how Gadkari's driver became a supervisor in the company.

"He was a driver decades ago. He is now a supervisor. The media made him a driver," he said.

Gurumurthy had been in the forefront of the BJP's crisis management since Tuesday when Jethmalani claimed party leaders Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha were with him in demanding Gadkari's ouster on corruption charges.

The RSS ideologue talked to BJP leaders and to Jethmalani, with the party finally saying they backed Gadkari. BJP leader LK Advani kept away from the meeting, raising questions on his support to the party president.


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