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Kejriwal: Gadkari got favours from Maharashtra Govt for his business

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on October 17, 2012

Social activists and India Against Corruption members Arvind Kejriwal, Anjali Damania addressing a press conference on irrigation scam in Maharashtra on Wednesday. - Photo: Kamal Narang

BJP dismisses allegations; Congress seeks answers

After raising allegations against Robert Vadra, the son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and Law Minister Salman Khurshid, anti-graft activist Arvind Kejriwal has now hit out at Bharatiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari.

On Wednesday, Kejriwal’s India Against Corruption launched an attack on the BJP President, accusing of him getting favours from the Maharashtra Government for business gains.

At a packed press conference, Kejriwal alleged that Gadkari’s business interests flourished with help from the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party Government in Maharashtra.

He said Gadkari’s trust managed to get 100 acres of farm land that had been acquired by the State Government to build a dam in the Vidharbha region.

According to rules, IAC activists said, the excess land should either have been returned to farmers or leased out to them for farming. The farmers’ repeated requests were not heard and agitating farmers were threatened by Gadkari’s henchmen, Kejriwal said.

IAC activist Anjali Damania had earlier alleged that Gadkari did not want to raise the issue of the ‘irrigation scam’ allegations against NCP leaders, including Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, as he had “business links” with Pawar, and his nephew and former Irrigation Minister, Ajit Pawar.

Kejriwal said despite the high number of farmer suicides in the region, the BJP did not raise the issue that industries took away the water meant for peasants.

“There was quid-pro-quo between the Government and the Opposition BJP in Maharashtra. These industries along the banks of dams are set up by politicians belonging to Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and BJP,” Kejriwal said.

BJP defence

The top leadership of BJP, including the Opposition leaders in Parliament, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, came to the rescue of Gadkari.

At a press conference along with Gadkari, they said the purpose of Kejriwal was to malign the BJP at a time when Congress was facing a crisis. Gadkari said he received no personal favours from the Maharashtra Government and that he had shares of only Rs 1 lakh in the trust worth crores of rupees.

The Congress termed the allegations as “serious” and asked the BJP leadership to provide answers for the charges against Gadkari. The party said the BJP appreciated all “baseless” charges so far levelled against Congress leadership by Kejriwal.

“Now, their national president is in trouble,” party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.

>jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

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Published on October 17, 2012
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