IndiaTV RSS Feeds
November 28, 2014

Gadkari faces controversy over letter to Bansal

IANS [ Updated 04 Oct 2012, 23:44:53 ]
Gadkari faces controversy over letter to Bansal

New Delhi, Oct 4: BJP president Nitin Gadkari Thursday faced controversy over a letter he had written to union Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal seeking payment to contractors in a water project in Vidarbha, which is linked to the multi-crore irrigation scam in Maharashtra.

The Congress alleged that the BJP leader was interested in getting payments of some of his associates cleared expeditiously.

Gadkari defended his letter and said he had sought clearance of payments so that the project aimed at enhancing irrigation potential in farmer suicide-prone Vidarbha gets completed.

The BJP president declared he had no links with any contractor and had done no wrong and charged the Congress with trying to defame him by making false allegations.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh told a news channel that Gadkari “was not interested in projects” but in payments. He said while BJP leaders in Maharashtra were talking of exposing “corruption done by contractors” in Gosikhurd dam in Vidarbha, Gadkari was seeking their payments.

Digvijay Singh wondered in how many other projects, Gadkari had written similar letters and questioned his business links with Ajay Sancheti.

Gadkari’s political rivals have claimed the letter to Bansal was aimed at benefiting his associate Sancheti.

Digvijay Singh also said that Gadkari should give details of growth in his assets in the last 15 years . He said Gadkari was not an asset to BJP but “a liability”.

In the letter written July 30 to Bansal, Gadkari asked him to clear the dues of the contractors involved in the Gosikhurd dam in Vidarbha though no names were mentioned.

The letter said that due to non-payment of the dues, the contractors may stop their works which may delay the programme and would also result in time overrun and delays in creation of irrigation potential. Gadkari said in the letter that liability of Rs.400 crore was pending.

The Gosikhurd project figures in the alleged scam in irrigation projects in Maharashtra which had led to Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar quiting last month till a white paper came out on the issue.

The BJP has attacked the ruling coalition in Maharashtra over irrigation scam in the state in which Ajit Pawar arbitrarily doled out contracts worth Rs.20,000 crore.

Gadkari told mediapersons that the project, conceived over 20 years ago, had seen cost escalation of over 15 times. He said nearly 300 contractors were working on it.

He said thousands of farmers had committed suicide in Vidarbha and the project will help irrigate 3.5 lakh hectares in the region.

”I have written five letters and said that if payments are not made, work will not progress...I will write 10 more letters. I have done nothing wrong. I have no regret,” Gadkari said. He said the aim of letters was not payment to contractors but saving farmers in the region.

”I have no links with any contractor,” he said and added that contracts were given five years before he became the party president.

He referred to allegations levelled against him by an activist over alleged business links with NCP leader Sharad Pawar and said “false information was being spread about his links with two contractors (in the Vibhadra project).”

Gadkari said delay in construction of project showed inefficiency of the central government and accused Bansal of “distributing” his letter.

”The Congress is trying to involve my name. They should not make false allegations,” he said, and added that those who had levelled allegations against him in Adarsh Housing Society scam had to ask for forgiveness later.

At A Glance
Murli Deora: Former Union Minister who got smoking at public places banned in India
Murli DeoraBorn in 1937, veteran Congress leader  more
Interesting quotes of Narendra Modi from his three-nation-tour in November 2014
Wherever Prime Minister Modi goes, he gets  more
Top 10 quotes of Narendra Modi from his speech at Kishtwar, J&K
Kishtwar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday address an election  more
'Love Jihad' boomerangs on BJP, No 'Modi magic' in state polls
New Delhi:  By-poll results for three Lok  more
Rahul Gandhi in a new 'angry young man' avtar
New Delhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has always been taunted  more
Delhi deadlock: Is fresh elections the only option left?
New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India has asked Delhi’s  more
Know Your Leader
B'day spl: Know Mulayam Singh's compulsions behind supporting UPA govt
New Delhi, Sep 27: Mulayam Singh Yadav  more
Know criminal-turned-politician BSP MP Dhananjay Singh
New Delhi: The Bahujan Samaj Party MP from Jaunpur, Uttar  more
Who is Sadhu Yadav?
New Delhi: Sadhu Yadav – this is one name that  more
Politics Archive
India TV Debate: Cricketer Phillip Hughes dies be..

India TV Debate: Cricketer Phillip Hughes dies being...

21YearsOfAap Ki Adalat : Modi cabinet to be a par..

#21YearsOfAapKiAdalat: Modi cabinet to be a part of...

BJP to restart talks with Sena today over joining government
Mumbai: Ending weeks of acrimony between the former saffron allies, the BJP and...