State Congress party president Manickrao Thakre on Wednesday demanded a probe into Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Nitin Gadkari’s stint as the public works minister in the state government from 1995-1999 to uncover his alleged involvement in several scams, especially in the awarding of toll contracts.
“How many toll contracts did he hand out and to whom? RSS organisations were funded through this toll money. There were several such scams involving hundreds of crores of rupees. All this should be probed,’’ said Thakre. He was speaking at the party function held in its office at Dadar.
Gadkari in his stint as the public works minister in Maharashtra is credited with having built 55 flyovers for Mumbai, besides the country’s first expressway, the Mumbai-Pune expressway.
The flyovers were financed largely through tolls, as motorists were charged a toll at city’s five entry points. In that sense, Gadkari ushered in the toll culture in Maharashtra.
Thakre added, “What did Gadkari own before his ministerial stint? What’s his worth now? This money has led to ownership of private sugar mills and even power companies.”
The BJP has rubbished these allegations. BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said, “Thakre has lost his balance. The defeat in Vidhan Parishad polls has frustrated him. He should apologise or face legal proceedings.”