'Prove business links with Sancheti, I'll quit politics'
I've never recommended the name of any contractor, says BJP President Nitin Gadkari, who has been accused of being involved in the Maharashtra irrigation scam, in an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN.
Writing letter in favour of contractors
Now there are 300 contractors working. This is my MLC constituency and I'm still a member of that constituency. Already in Vidarbh there are 10,000 farmer suicides, this project is going to be helpful for five districts -- Nagpur, Bhandara, Gundiya, Chandpur, Garhchiraulli. Now land acquisition payment there is still pending...
Ajay Sancheti's interest in the project
Ajay Sancheti (close aide and party MP) has come into politics eight months ago, the other person, contractor Mitesh Bhangaria, has come just four or six months ago. Today I'm the president (of the BJP), but five year before the contracts were awarded by the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government.
It is your duty to find out what are the lacunae in the contract that were given by the Cong-NCP government. I have never recommended any contractors. There are 300 contractors working and I've never recommended the name of any contractor. I'm not insisting for the payment of the contractor. If the contractor has done bad work, black list them. I have no problem; I don't want to support any contractors.
Business links with Ajay Sancheti
Ajay Sancheti has been doing business from the last 30 years. He is a three generation businessman and contractor. His father, grandfather are elected for the BJP, RSS and Jansangh; he belongs to our parivaar.
I directly or indirectly do not have any business relation with him. Now I'm challenging the Congress party and the media -- if you have got any evidence which can prove that I've a direct, indirect business link with Ajay Sancheti or Sharad Pawar (NCP chief) please prove that. I will donate all my property to whosoever can be identified.
I will leave the politics.
First of all, these contracts were given to Ajay Sancheti before I became the president of the BJP. As a minister I've not awarded a single contract. As PWD minister no road contract was given to Ajay Sancheti. Ajay Sancheti or his company has never constructed a single road during my regime.
"Manoj Jayaswal (mining baron) is from Nagpur, Vijay Darda (Congress MP) is from Nagpur, and there are a lot of people from Nagpur. Does this mean everyone from Nagpur is my business partner? I'm from Maharashtra, I have got a lot of contacts. Suppose in my son's marriage, Manoj was there, Vijay was there, all Congress ministers from Maharashtra were there. Does it mean that I'm a partner? If you have got any evidence about my connection with Ajay Sancheti's business relations or Sharad Pawar... I'm going to challenge the Congress, including Digvijaya Singh, prove my business link and I will leave politics.
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Image: BJP president Nitin Gadkari
'Not right to bring allegations against Vadra without evidence'
Anjali Damania's allegations
A 100 percent lie. I have no direct or indirect business link with Sharad Pawar. If Damania(RTI activist Anjali Damania) or anybody proves it, I will leave politics.
Defamation notice to Digvijaya Singh
I'm not an industrialist. I'm executing a social enterprise. Sir, I've taken 400 crore from the banks, nationalised banks, as a loan. I have Rs 70 crore loss in the balance sheet and I'm working for the poor farmer from Vidarbha because I want to stop farmer suicide. This is my inspiration and motivation. I work for them, I'm a social entrepreneur, I'm not a business man or industrialist.
"You know my credentials; I constructed the Mumbai-Pune highway. The lowest tender was from Reliance Rs 3600 cr. I constructed that highway with 1,650 crore saving 2,000 cr. The cost for constructing flyovers was 1,800 cr but I completed it in 1,000 cr. The Sealink project, half of the project was completed by me. There has been full transparency.
Ajay Sancheti being a proxy
Nitin Gadkari ke ghar koi kach ki khirki nahi hai jis mei dum hoga media mei ho ya Congress party mei ho woh prove kar de......maine 8,000cr ke kaam Maharashtra mei kiye ek objection nahi aaya, ek inquiry nahi aayee....dusri baat mai bhrastachar karta nahi, mere ghar kanch ki khirki nahi or mai kisi se darta nahi kisi bhi enquiry ke liya tayaar hu.
Drawing parallels with Robert Vadra's links with DLF
Arrey bhai usne flat kharidi hai, apni property kharidi, transcation hai...mera Ajay Sancheti ke sath koi transction hai aap batao, koi hai kya, apke pass hai koi transction...
Nagpur ki population 16 lakh hai kya sab dukandar sab business men mere partner hai...
Mamata Banerjee ne K D Singh ko ticket diya, Congress party ne Navin Jindal ko diya Lalu Prasad ne Gupta ji ko ticket diya bahut sare industrialist Rajya Sabha mei aaye to kya sab ke sath sab ka partnership ho gaya kya?
BJP's silence on Robert Vadra's links with DLF
I've not got any document regarding this. I've heard about it. But without evidence it's not right to bring allegations against anybody.
It's not credible journalism to establish links of people with industrial houses without proper evidence.
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Image: Robert Vadra
'NDA's PM candidate will be declared after Lok Sabha elections'
Kejriwal exposing Vadra's links with DLF
"Whatever allegations Arvind (Kejriwal) has brought against Robert Vadra, the Congress party should institute an inquiry into it. If they have confidence they should investigate and prove Arvind wrong. Why do they fear?
I'm 100 per cent ready for any inquiry I have no problem. I don't want to give more importance to Arvind Kejriwal. Let him do whatever he wants to do.
I'm not worried about it. He can never fill the Opposition's space.
Another term as BJP president
I don't know; the decision is for the party. The party is the highest body and they will take the decision. I'm ready for any post. I always feel that politics is an instrument of socio-economic reform, I want to work for the party and ideology. I'm ready to work anywhere.
On being in the PM race
I'm not in the race of PM candidates. I'm the face of the party because I'm the president of the party.
On PM candidate
At the appropriate time we will decide...after the Lok Sabha election.
Getting majority is the main thing. The party, if it gets the numbers, will sit and decide the candidate on that basis.
Narendra Modi as PM candidate
He is one of the front runners, there are many leaders who are capable to becoming prime minister -- from Advaniji to Arunji to Sushmaji, Rajnath Singh, Dr Joshiji, Narendra Modiji -- they are all capable of becoming PM. They all are leaders and are think-tanks of the party. We will decide at the appropriate time who will be our candidate.
We are not a party of father-son or mother-son... Narendra Modi is one of the important faces. He is a role model for the party and a successful CM of Gujarat.
Shivraj Singh Chauhan
You suggest, we will add that name also...
Let us wait for some time, after election what no of seats we will get on that basis we will decide, who will be the candidate.
Rift with Nitish Kumar in Bihar
As for our alliance with the Janata Dal-United is concerned, there is no problem. We will both, as allies, fight Parliament election in Bihar. The governance in Bihar by Nitish Kumar is good...there are small problems but we can solve it.
Yeddyurappa's threat to leave the party
"I feel that B S Yeddyurappa (former Karnataka chief minister) is one of the capable leaders of Karnataka. He is one of the leaders who worked for the party for many years. There are some problems created with some allegations by the Lokayukta. I feel that in due course of time we will convince Yeddyurappa and we will solve the problem.
He will not leave the party...I'm the head of the party...discipline is also important at the same time to handle the people of the family in a nice way. That is my responsibility."
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Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
'I will fight the 2014 Parliamentary election'
FDI in insurance and pension
This government has no moral authority and majority. The government betrayed the Opposition because they never took the Opposition parties into confidence. They are taking up these issues to divert the mind of the people from corruption and scandals.
We don't want to become a part of the Congress party's conspiracy. We will not support it.
First they will have to prove their majority in the Parliament.
Supporting Mamata's no confidence motion
Hundred percent. We will support her. The one person who is the most important person in the United Progressive Alliance government is the Central Bureau of Investigation director. The government has survived because the CBI director har bar file dikhate hai, tabhi bachta hai sarkar.
Government surviving till 2014
"Yes. The CBI has become the Congress bureau of investigation and he works under the Congress party leader's direction. CBI is the main strength of the UPA... even in the case of Jagan Reddy or Mayawati or Mulayam Singhji, even with DMK and NCP also... they show the file and take the support from every party. These are the tactics of the Congress party.
Facing credibility crisis
As far as my character, integrity and personality are concerned, I challenge the media and others also if you have any evidence of my links with Sancheti or about my business link with Sharad Pawar.
The Congress is doing this because of the two-and-half years of my success story...and my strength...the Congress party wants to defame me. It's a conspiracy of the UPA and the Congress.
Fighting 2014 Lok Sabha election
I'm ready to fight anywhere. I'm a grassroots fighter; I've become a leader by fighting for the people. I've gone to jail... I don't claim to be a mass leader.
But if anyone challenges me that I can't fight an election, I'm ready to accept that challenge. I will fight the 2014 Parliamentary election. The party will decide the seat. I can prove that I can win anywhere.
Image: Nitin Gadkari and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader LK Advani wave to their supporters in New Delhi during a rally
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters