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Gadkari shares stage with Digvijaya Singh, praises him for...

June 30, 2023 14:24 IST

Union minister Nitin Gadkari shared the dais with senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh during a book release function near Pune city and praised the latter for his annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur, a temple town in Maharashtra.

Singh visits Pandharpur, which houses the famous temple of Lord Vitthal and Goddess Rukmini in Solapur district, every year to offer prayers to the deity on Ashadi Ekadashi when the palanquins carrying sacred footprints of Sant Tuakram and Sant Dnyaneshwar reach the town along with lakhs of 'warkaris' (devotees).

Gadkari and Singh on Thursday came together to release a book on late Congress leader Ramkrishna More at Pimpri Chinchwad near Pune.

During his speech, Gadkari praised Singh for his annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur on Ashadi Ekadashi, which was celebrated on Thursday.

"I won't get that kind of courage (to walk) although I am younger than you. But you walk so much (during the pilgrimage)...I congratulate you and thank you," the Minister of Road Transport and Highways said.

Singh responded saying that Gadkari should also give it a try so that he starts taking part in it regularly.


Notably, Gadkari had in 2018 withdrawn a case of defamation against Digvijaya Singh after the latter expressed regret over his statement.

A joint petition for withdrawal of the case was filed in Delhi's Patiala House court.

Gadkari had filed the defamation case against Singh in 2012 for allegedly dragging his name into alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks.

The BJP leader had then accused the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister of trying to divert people's attention from a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal blocks allocation by making allegations that a business partner of Gadkari gained a profit of Rs 490 crore from coal mines in Chhattisgarh.

Speaking at the event further, Gadkari also lauded the political culture of Maharashtra and said that although there were different parties in the state, there was no bitterness among them.

"There can be differences of opinion, but there should be no 'manbhinnata' (differences in relationship) and Maharashtra is a fine example of it," he said.

The minister said the government was developing the Palkhi Marg (palanquin route) at a cost of Rs 12,000 crore.

He said he has asked the engineers to lay grass along the route so that warkaris can walk on it instead of going barefoot on a hot road.

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