New Delhi, Oct 26
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde today said there appears to be ‘substance’ in the accusations hurled against BJP president Nitin Gadkari for alleged dubious bankrolling of companies he owns.
‘’Whatever things are coming up. You people are showing it on TV. It seems there is some substance in it (allegations),’’ Mr Shinde told reporters on the fringes of a function here, while declining to say more on the issue.
The BJP president is in the line of fire over alleged impropriety over funding of Purti Power and Sugar Limited (PPSL) with media reports claiming that major investments and large loans to the company were made by Ideal Road Builders (IRB) group, which had won contracts between 1995 and 1999, when the BJP chief was PWD minister in Maharashtra. Both Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Income Tax department are looking into the alleged irregularities involving Gadkari.
As BJP president Nitin Gadkari has been beleaguered by corruption charges, the BJP core group will meet tonight to discuss the issue and future course of action.
Mr Gadkari, who has left from Nagpur, will also attend the meeting at his residence in the national capital at around 2030 hrs, BJP sources said. He had cancelled a trip to Delhi yesterday.
The BJP leaders including L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and others will attend the meeting.
The sources said the party will also discuss Mr Gadkari’s campaign in Himachal Pradesh which will go for polls next month.
The BJP has defended its chief terming allegations against him as ‘baseless’.
The BJP has said he will also campaign in party-ruled Himachal Pradesh. Mr Gadkari has said he was ready for any probe into the allegations against him and his Purti Group.
The reports have said the Income Tax Department has been investigating against Mr Gadkari’s company after allegations that an infrastructure company, Ideal Road Builders (IRB), had made major investments in and given a large loan to Purti Group.
Charging the BJP with turning a blind eye to corruption by its president Nitin Gadkari, the Congress today said the party’s attitude showed that Mr Gadkari represented its ‘true face’ .
Addressing reporters here, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said,”despite serious charges against its president Nitin Gadkari, all the top BJP leaders are giving a clean chit to him. Not just that, they are even congratulating him.
This shows the double standards of the BJP. On the one hand, they have been levelling baseless charges against the Government, they have been quick to give a clean chit to their party president despite the serious charges faced by him. In this context, it may be recalled that when their former president Bangaru Laxman faced similar charges, the entire BJP stood by him. But the court found him guilty and sent him to jail.”
Mr Alvi said in the case of Gadkari, the BJP, which claimed to be a ‘party with a difference’, had indeed shown that it was indeed a ‘party with a difference’.
“After the charges on Nitin Gadkari and the BJP’s strong defence of him, it is amply clear that the BJP is indeed a ‘party with a difference’. I feel that ‘ Gadkari represents the ideology of the BJP.
From the Gadkari episode, it is clear that the BJP can go to any length to come to power,”Mr Alvi said.