Facing heat from the opposition after a Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report named him in a case relating to violation of norms in granting a loan to a private firm of which he was a director, transport minister Nitin Gadkari hinted at conspiracy behind his name slipping into the auditor’s report.
“I am not questioning the CAG, but there is some conspiracy. My name did not figure in the draft CAG report but a footnote was added to the final copy listing out names of the directors... How did that happen? The CAG report was a comment on the policy of UPA government and not on individuals... I am surprised,” Gadkari told HT in an interview on Monday.
“Was this practice of naming individual followed in the CAG report on the 2G scandal or the Commonwealth Games irregularities?” he asked.
The Congress had disrupted Rajya Sabha towards the end of the budget session demanding Gadkari’s resignation, which was quickly dismissed by the government.
Gadkari, who has been at the forefront of defending the amendment proposed to the land acquisition bill, said the government will never acquire the land for “Adani, Ambani or Tata” but to create infrastructure that will benefit the poor who often migrate to cities in search for jobs.
“Political parties tell us that the bill is okay, but they cannot support the government on this for obvious political reasons. We understand their compulsion,” Gadkari said, adding that the Congress was depressed about its electoral losses.
Asked if things would have been easier had the government consulted the opposition before promulgating an ordinance, Gadakri replied, “You can wake up someone who is asleep, but not those pretending to sleep. Chief ministers of Congress-ruled states write to me to change the act and their party opposes the proposal in Parliament.”
Having set a target of building 30 km of road every day in next two years, Gadkari said the rate of construction of roads has improved from 2 km per day during UPA days to 14km per day by the end of May. “My next target is to create a world class infrastructure for waterways by next year.”