MUMBAI: Union minister Nitin Gadkari Sunday said political leaders who sell dreams to people, but fail to make them a reality get "beaten up" by the public.
The minister, who handles a host of infrastructure-related portfolios in the Modi government, asserted he is a doer and delivers on his promises. Gadkari was speaking at a function where Bollywood actor Isha Koppikar joined the BJP and was made working president of the party's women transport wing.
"People like (political) leaders who sell them dreams. But if these dreams are not realised, then they beat them up (politically) as well," Gadkari said, speaking at a function here. "I am not the one who only sells dreams, but I deliver 100 per cent what I talk about," he said.
Gadkari, a former BJP president, also spoke about his stint as Maharashtra's PWD minister when the Shiv Sena-BJP government was in power (1995-99) in the state.
"The media persons in Mumbai know what kind of a person I am as they have seen how I complete projects. They do trust me," said the 61-year-old politician from Nagpur.
"People used to laugh at me when I, as PWD minister, used to claim that I was going to build over 50 flyovers in Mumbai, and bring down the travel time between Mumbai and Pune to merely two hours (via 91-km expressway). "I was ridiculed but I proved them wrong and completed every project I had promised," Gadkari asserted.
In December, Gadkari said at an event in Pune that leadership should have the tendency to own up defeat and failures.
The remarks had come days after the BJP's dismal show in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assembly elections.
As the comments created a controversy, Gadkari said his statements had been twisted and alleged "there was a sinister campaign by some opposition parties and a section of the media to twist" his comments and "draw politically motivated inferences to malign" him and his party.
At the valedictory function of the annual Marathi literary meet at Yavatmal on January 13, Gadkari said politicians should not interfere in other fields.
The meet was embroiled in a controversy after an invitation to writer Nayantara Sahgal was withdrawn apparently under pressure from a political party.
Without making a direct reference to the row, Gadkari had said, "Politicians should learn not to interfere in other fields. The people who are in universities, educational institutions, literature and poetry, they should be dealing with their (respective) areas."