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Won't return to state politics: Nitin Gadkari

When asked if he was in the race for chief ministership, the Union transport and shipping minister said there is no dearth of party leaders capable of occupying the coveted post.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2014 19:00 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times

Nitin Gadkari, the union minister for transport and shipping made it clear on Tuesday that he was not at all interested to become Maharashtra’s chief minister if the BJP gets an absolute majority in the October 15 elections.

Gadkari held marathon elections meetings in as many as 108 places- highest among all BJP leaders- in Maharashtra for the 2014 assembly elections campaign.

Talking to HT at his Mahal residence, a visibly tired Gadkari, on Tuesday afternoon said, “I have decided to stay in Delhi and am content with the present responsibility.”

He said that the BJP was getting an overwhelming response across the state and it would get at least 155-160 seats. “Our party would get maximum seats in Vidarbha. It will get around 50 out of the 62 seats in Vidarbha alone,” he claimed. Gadkari held as many as 64 election meetings in the region while the state BJP chief Devendra Fadnavis took 18 meetings.

As the BJP rallied in the region on the issue of separate Vidarbha, political observers in the region feel that the party would certainly get dividends on it. The party central leadership, did not dispute on it, leaving the local leaders look for covers. That was the reason Prime Minister Narendra Modi held only four elections meetings while the BJP president Amit Shah took only five meetings in the region.

However, the party used the chief ministers of neighbouring states — Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Dr Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh) — for campaigning. Singh held 11 meetings while Chouhan addressed seven meetings.

Gadkari said that the people of the region are happy with the BJP as it had initiated several development projects as soon as Modi took over the reins of the country. “The long-pending MIHAN project would soon be on the fast tract. The Nagpur city which is heart of the region would get metro rail while a huge project of road connectivity has been initiated for Nagpur and its neighbouring areas,” he further claimed.

First Published: Oct 14, 2014 16:21 IST