BJP refuses comment on media report on Gadkari's French cruise

Indian Express claims Essar Group sponsored a trip on a foreign yacht for the transport minister and his family in 2013.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2015 13:29 IST

The BJP has refused to react to a media report about road transport minister Nitin Gadkari taking a French cruise along with his family, which was sponsored by a top corporate house.

"This kind of news keeps coming every day. We don't need to react to this," BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told the media in New Delhi on Friday.

According to a report published in the Indian Express, Essar Group sponsored a trip on a foreign yacht for Gadkari and his family in 2013.

The report goes on to mention how the group allegedly cultivated individuals in positions of power and influence, showered them with gifts and favours to push its business interests.

Gadkari, when contacted by the newspaper, however, said, "I was going to Norway with my family and all air tickets and hotel bills for the holiday were paid by me. I did take a ride on the yacht of the Ruia family and that is because I have known the Ruias for over 25 years. When they learnt I was visiting Europe, they invited me. I see no conflict of interest here since at that time I was neither the BJP president nor a minister or MP. I will not do so now since I am a minister but at that time, where was the problem?"

The paper adds that it had sent a questionnaire about these records to Essar's spokesperson. Responding to the email, a spokesperson for the company said in a statement: "It is apparent that some of the material is fabricated and some of the allegations are conclusions and inferences being drawn from email stolen from our computers. We have already filed an appropriate complaint with the concerned authorities… We would take appropriate legal steps to ensure that the protection of law available against theft in all its forms is extended to our property, i.e. our servers and data on these servers."

The Indian Express report also said that former minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, Congress leaders Digvijaya Singh and Motilal Vora and BJP's Varun Gandhi referred candidates for jobs in Essar.

First Published: Feb 27, 2015 13:26 IST