Mr Advani alleged that Mr Gadkari was the victim of a conspiracy;





Senior BJP leaders have voiced support for an increasingly beleaguered BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who faces a barrage of allegations on his business dealings. First, party patriarch LK Advani spoke in his defence today, albeit in a nuanced and cautious statement, and then Sushma Swaraj said the party stood "firmly behind him."

The BJP leaders have lauded Mr Gadkari's offer to be investigated on allegations like giving quid pro quo favours to business houses and accusations that he used shell companies to fund his business. Sushma Swaraj spoke for the party when she said, "Mr Gadkari has categorically stated that there is no wrongdoing and has offered himself for a probe. It is unjust and unfair to accept these allegations as true without a probe. We, the members of BJP, trust our President and stand firmly behind him."

Mr Advani alleged that Mr Gadkari was the victim of a conspiracy; a UPA strategy, he said, to "paint the entire political class with the same brush to minimise and escape its unpardonable sins... This is more to neutralise the unprecedented charges against the ruling UPA." Mr Advani pointed out that "the allegations are about standards of business and not misuse of power or corruption," and said nevertheless, the BJP president had "come clean asking for an inquiry by the Department of Company Affairs. It is a fair and proper response. This shows the difference in the BJP's attitude."


Nitin Gadkari, Virbhadra Singh: Two sides of the same coin?
But the BJP's most senior leader, who has spearheaded his party's campaign against what he calls corruption in the ruling UPA, prefaced all that by saying, "I am of the view that the BJP should be different and should not claim immunity on either scale or nature of the allegations."

Parent body, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS, which handpicked Mr Gadkari to head the BJP and reportedly played an important role in him getting a second term much to the discomfiture of several senior leaders, is now reportedly worried that the many allegations against him will dent his party's political image perilously close to the next elections. RSS leader Dr Manmohan Vaidya was circumspect when he said today, "It seems like a media trial. The RSS is not in the picture. Let the BJP respond to it. We have not issued any ultimatum and have not sought any explanation. The fight against corruption will go on. Nothing will affect it."

The BJP's predicament is that it just changed its rules to hand Mr Gadkari an unprecedented second term as BJP president. The party is believed to be split in two - there are those who reportedly believe that Mr Gadkari carrying on as party chief will be increasingly untenable. But others reportedly argue that finding a replacement now will be a messier task and the party should resolutely ride out the storm.

Last week, activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal accused Mr Gadkari of corruption, quid pro quo deals and conflict of interest in his roles as politician and businessman as part of his shame and name expose series. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has now written to the Prime Minister asking for an investigation by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs into who funds a business set up by Mr Gadkari in 2000. Veerappa Moily, who is in charge of the Coroprate Affairs Ministry, has already indicated that an inquiry is likely.

Last week, a confident Mr Gadkari was in an NDTV studio live to answer allegations against him; he denied quid pro quo or conflict of interest and defended what he called his friendship with contractors and others who had invested in his ventures. He refuted the suggestion that his Purti group used shell investors and said he was ready for any inquiry. Today, at the RSS' Dussehra function in Nagpur, Mr Gadkari, in full sangh uniform of black cap, white shirt and khaki shorts, was less eager to speak. He pushed away a mike and refused to comment.

Mr Singh's letter to the PM cites a recent and exclusive NDTV report, which highlighted that several of the 18 companies that have invested in Mr Gadkari's Purti Power and Sugar are steeped in mystery - their official addresses, for example, don't check out; many of them are headquartered at the same small room in Mumbai, pointing to the strong possibility of shell investors. In some cases, different investors share directors, and Mr Gadkari's driver, Manohar Panse, is shown as a director of a company that allegedly provides Purti with shares worth a little over three crores.

NDTV also reported that a company which was hired for enormous infrastructure projects during Mr Gadkari's term as minister of Maharashtra's Public Works Department went on later to invest in Purti. Mr Gadkari, when he spoke to NDTV last week, denied that the investment by Ideal Road Builders Group was a quid pro quo for the massive contracts it won when he was a Maharashtra minister, or that there was a blatant conflict of interest in accepting investment from the contractor. He described DP Mhaiskar, who owns Ideal Road Builders, as a good friend.

Mr Gadkari stepped down last year as Chairman of Purti.


Gadkari issue: Now, an astrologer is a director in a Purti investor company

More details have emerged on Wednesday on shell companies of BJP president Shri Nitin Gadkari's Purti group. It’s not just drivers and accountants, now an astrologer has emerged as a director in a Purti investor company which itself seems to be a shell company.

The documents show Ashwami Sales and Marketing Ltd, which owns equity in Purti, is non existent. When CNN-IBN inquired after one of its directors, Hanumant Prasad Sharma, it was found that he was in fact an astrologer by profession. When CNN-IBN enquired at the registered address, Sharma's wife revealed that he was in fact in Rajasthan and that she had never heard of a company called Ashwami. Ashwami is the same company that has Gadkari's driver as a director.
“I don't know what company you are talking about. He works from home as an astrologer,” said wife of Hanumant Sharma.



'Lent Gadkari Rs 164cr from personal savings'
Times of India
NAGPUR: The Rs164 crore loaned by Global Safety Vision Pvt Ltd to the Nitin Gadkari-promoted Purti Power and Sugar Ltd came from the "personal savings" of its director Dattatray P Mhaiskar. "The money came from the sale of some off my shares in IRB ...
See all stories on this topic »
Digvijaya demands probe against Nitin Gadkari, submits proof to PM
IBNLive
Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday submitted proof of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari's links with a Nagpur-base company, Purti Power and Sugar Limited to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded that the ...
See all stories on this topic »
Gadkari issue: Now, an astrologer is a director in a Purti investor company
IBNLive
New Delhi: More details have emerged on Wednesday on shell companies of BJP president Nitin Gadkari's Purti group. It's not just drivers and accountants, now an astrologer has emerged as a director in a Purti investor company which itself seems to be a ...
See all stories on this topic »

IBNLive
IAC dares govt to book Gadkari under Prevention of Corruption Act
Zee News
Talking to reporters, Kejriwal yesterday said that fresh revelations made by leading media houses onNitin Gadkari's alleged corporate fraud have vindicated IAC's stand that Congress and BJP were hand in glove on corruption. Later talking to a news ...
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RSS worried allegations against Nitin Gadkari will dent BJP's image: Sources
NDTV
... Nitin Gadkari will dent BJP's image: Sources. The RSS is reportedly worried that the many allegations against Nitin Gadkari, who has just got an unprecedented second term as BJP president, will dent the main opposition party's image perilously ...
See all stories on this topic »


NDTV
Nitin Gadkari issue BJP's internal matter: RSS
Times of India
Media reports on Tuesday said an infrastructure company, Ideal Road Builders (IRB), had made major investments in and given a large loan to a company controlled by Gadkari. IRB had won contracts between 1995 and 1999 when Gadkari was the PWD ...
See all stories on this topic »
Nitin Gadkari, Virbhadra Singh: Two sides of the same coin?
NDTV
Loading... Published on Oct 24, 2012 by ndtv. As the shadow of corruption looms large over India's main political parties, the Congress and the BJP, we discuss the latest on the fallout of the NDTV exposes against Virbhadra Singh and Nitin Gadkari ...
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Nitin Gadkari stares down the barrel
India Today
With Purti Power and Sugar Ltd, the Nagpur-based company floated by Nitin Gadkariin 2000, coming under a cloud because of dubious origins of its funding, his continuation as BJP president is becoming increasingly untenable. The BJP's national council, ...
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India Today
Nitin Gadkari in trouble over funding for his companies
Zee News
Nitin Gadkari in trouble over funding for his companies New Delhi: BJP chief Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday found himself in trouble with the government deciding to go into allegations of dubious funding in his companies which cast a shadow over his getting ...
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