Gadkari in Cong line of fire

Gadkari in Cong line of fire

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari continued to be the Congress’ target for a second day on Monday as its MPs forced repeated adjournments in the Rajya Sabha, which failed to transact any significant business except clearing the amendments to the land boundary bill.

Soon after the House assembled, senior Congress MP Anand Sharma raised the demand for the removal of Gadkari and initiating an inquiry against him following remarks in a CAG report about loans given to Purti, a company associated with his family.

The minister refuted the allegations while the BJP made it clear that there is no question of his resignation.

Though listed, the government could not bring the contentious Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill or the amendments to the Whistleblowers Bill as the Congress MPs forced at least eight adjournments before the Deputy Speaker adjourned the proceedings for the day.

Between 11 am and 4:05 pm, the House proceedings went on for only 45 minutes. While it was pandemonium throughout the day in the Upper House, the Rajya Sabha was in order for 17 minutes in the afternoon when all parties joined hands to rectify the drafting errors in the land boundary bill.

During Zero Hour, as Congress members created ruckus, Gadkari walked in to the House and made a “personal explanation” that there was no corruption or misappropriation charges against him. He accused the Opposition of “deliberately misinterpreting” the CAG report for political reasons. He said the CAG had nowhere named him as a wrongdoer.

However, this could not satisfy the opposition who continued to shout slogans. Scenes of sloganeering and rushing into the Well were also witnessed during the Question Hour.


Gadkari 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 bagasse-based power plant in Nagpur and major part of the interest has been repaid.

However, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nazi Azad said they were not satisfied with the reply. “He (Gadkari) will have to resign,” Azad said adding the loan was for producing power using new and renewable energy while what his company produced was using coal. “This is cheating,” he said, “whether the company repaid it is not the issue, but how the funds were misused (is).”

Amid the din, the House allowed the withdrawal of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill but could not consider the Companies Amendment Bill.

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