Gadkari denies wrongdoing

Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari

Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari denied any wrongdoings by the Purti Group or by him in financial dealings.

The upper house saw repeated adjournments, as opposition members demanded that Gadkari should resign.

“There is no scam or irregularity… Purti has repaid all loans. There are no allegations against me,” Gadkari said in the Rajya Sabha amid sloganeering by Congress members.

His reaction came after the Congress demanded his resignation over a Comptroller and Auditor General report that has named the union minister as one of the “promoters and/or directors” of Purti Sakhar Karkhana Ltd. that was sanctioned a loan of Rs.84.12 crore by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) in violation of guidelines.

As Gadkari finished his statement, the Congress members kept protesting, forcing Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien to adjourn the house for 10 minutes.

When the house met again, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said they were not satisfied with the minister’s response.

Azad said the loan was taken for a different purpose but was used for generating thermal power.

“You are getting a loan for a project and you are using it for something else. Whether it was returned or not is a different issue,” said Azad. After this, Congress members once again started raising slogans demanding resignation of Gadkari.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: “We are not making him resign to satisfy you… There is no allegation of corruption.”

Amid the din, Kurien adjourned the house till 12 p.m.

The question hour saw similar scene, and after two brief adjournments of 15 minutes each, Chairman M. Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 1 p.m.

At 1 p.m. the house passed an amended version of land boundary agreement bill, before adjourning for lunch.

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