With Congress baying for his blood, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today broke his silence on the CAG report on irregularities in loan extended to his family-linked Purti Group, saying the government auditor has nowhere named him as a wrong-doer and there was no charge of corruption or misappropriation.
Amid slogan-shouting by Congress members seeking his resignation, Gadkari read out a statement in Rajya Sabha saying the CAG report was “deliberately being misinterpreted for political reasons.”
“My respectful submission before this august House is that let us follow the established procedure in the matter of CAG reports and if any wrong-doing is established by the PAC, which will be discussing the CAG report in due course of time, the law should take its own course,” he said.
“The CAG has nowhere named me as a wrong-doer nor there is any adverse comment against me. There is neither any indictment nor any charge of corruption or misappropriation against me of the PSKL,” the Road Transport and Highways Minister said.
But the Congress members were not satisfied with his statement and continued to raise slogans from the Well of the House demanding his resignation and forcing two adjournments before noon.
Gadkari said the principal loan amount of Rs 46.63 crore was provided by state-run Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) to Purti Group for a 22-MW bagasse-based power plant in Nagpur and major part of the interest has been repaid.
Stating that he was Chairman of Purti Sakhar Karkhana Ltd (PSKL) from 2000 to 2011, said he was neither an MP nor held any public office in government when the 13-year loan was extended to the firm in 2008-09. “The Audit report alleges lapses/irregularities in procedures followed by IREDA, which were explained in detail by IREDA and comments of the CAG are not acceptable to IREDA,” he said.
“PSKL has not committed any misappropriation nor has it misrepresented any facts before IREDA. The audit report does not allege any such conduct,” he claimed.