NEW DELHI: Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday denied any wrongdoing, even as the Rajya Sabha was adjourned nine times following Opposition demand that he resign in view of the auditors report that indicted a company linked to him.
The Opposition had demanded his resignation after the CAG report alleged irregularities in a loan extended to his family-linked Purti Group.
“The CAG report is deliberately being misinterpreted for political reasons. My respectful submission before this august House is that let us follow the established procedure in the matter of CAG reports and if any wrongdoing is established by the PAC, which will be discussing the CAG report in due course of time, the law should take its own course,” the minister said, in a statement in the Rajya Sabha.
But, the Congress members continued to shout slogans even as MoS for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asserted that Gadkari would not resign. The House saw five adjournments till noon over the issue.
Defending himself, Gadkari said that he was contemplating moving a privilege motion against Congress leader Anand Sharma following the latter’s allegations against him in the House.
He said that no rule was violated, all clearances were obtained and the entire issue involved a one-time settlement, which had happened as per government rules.
Gadkari said, “If there is a demand for a minister’s resignation, then there should be an inquiry against the then UPA Minister.”
Stating that he was chairman of PSKL from 2000 to 2011, he said he was neither an MP nor held any public office in government when the 13-year loan was extended to the firm in 2008-09. He was merely an MLC at the time, the minister pointed out.
He said the principal loan amount of Rs 46.63 crore was provided by state-run Indian renewable energy development agency to Purti Group for a 22-MW power plant in Nagpur and major part of the interest had been repaid.
Even as the House met after lunch recess at 2pm, it witnessed the same aggression by the Opposition, which resulted in four adjournments before it was finally adjourned for the day by P J Kurien.