Sharad Pawar defends Gadkari

Sharad Pawar defends Gadkari

A day after Nitin Gadkari was accused of land grab and corruption, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Thursday described the BJP president as a "responsible man".

The Nationalist Congress Party chief also suggested that he saw nothing wrong with Gadkari's business interests -- a fact India Against Corruption (IAC) said Wednesday was hurting Maharashtra's farmers.

Asked about the allegations hurled at Gadkari, Pawar told CNN-IBN: "Setting up sugar mills is a service to that area and secondly taking land and providing excellent quality of seeds to farmers is definitely useful to the farming community.

"Gadkari is a responsible man, works responsibly."

Pawar made light of the charges against Gadkari, including that he had taken land from the government which actually should have been returned to farmers in Maharashtra's Vidarbha region.

"Firstly I don't know what the irrigation scam is," he said.

"Allegations against Gadkari is that land has been given to him and he has set up power plant, he has set up sugar mills.

"But as per my information there are two sugar mills... Gadkari has taken those mills and he has started running (them)."

He denied having any business dealings with the BJP president.

"I have no business with Gadkari. If anyone can establish (a link), I will be happy to hand over that business to them."

He said that IAC should go to court if it had specific cases of corruption.

"If anyone has got some grievance, they have every right to make allegations... But if suppose somebody has done a wrong thing, best is to prosecute him...

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