NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Senior Union minister, Nitin Gadkari has been caught in a fresh controversy with a new remark which the Opposition has latched on to with glee-claiming he is a contrarian to the party he belongs to. Yet, even as Gadkari blamed his plight to ‘media twists’, ‘misquote’ and ‘a sinister campaign’ by those in Opposition, the ruling BJP was forced to clarify Monday, saying his remarks were aimed at the Congress.
BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said, “Nitin Gadkari’s comments are now being twisted and political benefit being taken out of it. He was hinting towards Congress that lived by slogans of ‘Garibi Hatao (remove poverty)’ but didn’t do anything for poverty alleviation and towards Rahul Gandhi who makes empty promises.”
Gadkari had said in Mumbai, “Political leaders are fond of spinning dreams, but if they cannot deliver it, they may take a beating from the people. So promise only what is possible.” Gadkari’s comment was interpreted by many political leaders as veiled criticism of PM Narendra Modi.
The minister was also seen in close conversation with Congress president Rahul Gandhi at Saturday’s Republic Day function in Delhi.
Tagging his tweet to the PM, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said, “Gadkari is showing you the mirror, and in a very subtle way.” The Madhya Pradesh Congress, too, speculated over whether this was a direct attack on Modi. “Modiji, the people are coming,” it said.
Those close to Gadkari in Maharashtra see a Vidarbhan streak in him – speaking his mind with least care about the consequences. “In that aspect he is like Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray-probably one reason why the late leader liked him”, said a senior journalist of Nagpur.