MUMBAI: Union minister Nitin Gadkari Sunday said "even a transgender would bear children but an irrigation scheme in Maharashtra's Sangli district would never be completed".
The BJP leader's comments came on a day he accused a section of the media of "twisting" his remarks on "leadership owning up to defeat" which he had made in Pune Saturday.
"The economic viability of the Tembhu lift irrigation scheme was so difficult. That once I had shared my views with a person over it . I had said that even a transgender would bear children but this irrigation scheme will never be completed," Gadkari said while addressing a rally in Sangli in western Maharashtra, around 375 kms from here.
The lift irrigation project is about fetching water from the Krishna river basin and irrigating the arid region of Sangli district to increase agriculture production.
Gadkari was attending the event to mark completion of irrigation works of the fourth stage of the lift-irrigation scheme.
The construction work of the fifth stage is expected to be completed soon. The Tembhu lift irrigation project was administratively approved in 1996 for Rs 1,416.59 crore.
The project envisages lifting of 22.12 TMC water from the Krishna river to irrigate 80,472 hectares of land in Satara, Sangli and Solapur districts.
Addressing an event in Pune, Gadkari had said, "Leadership should have the 'vrutti' (tendency) to own up the defeat and failures. Loyalty of the leadership towards the organisation will not be proved till the time it owns up responsibility for defeat.
" The remarks had come days after the BJP's dismal show in elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. However, he Sunday said the BJP is going to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha election under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accused the media of "twisting" his remarks.