Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road, Transport & Highways, may be known for his wit and humor, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party to which he belongs may no longer find his political innuendos funny.
Addressing a party event in Mumbai on Sunday, 27 January, Gadkari claimed that political leaders who make tall promises, are liked by the people. But it is the same set of people, who thrash these politicians when they fail to fulfill promises. The ideal way, Gadkari advises, is to promise only as much as it is possible to deliver.
Which Leadership Lacks Virtues?
In December 2018, shortly after the BJP lost Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh to the Congress, Gadkari had made a string of comments, suggesting that any leadership should accept defeats, as much as it takes credits for its victories.
After Gadkari’s comments set-off a war of words between the BJP and the Opposition, the Union minister moved into damage-control mode and clarified that his comments were ‘twisted’ by the media. “But unfortunately, a section of media twisted my statement by linking it to the current electoral politics by adding up their own comment,” he had said.
Which Party President Had Failed in December?
But just two days after clarifying that his comments weren’t made against any political party, Gadkari again seemed to suggest that if lawmakers fail to perform, the party president should take responsibility.
Was Gadkari Fond of Nehru?
Gadkari had, on 24 December, underlined the need for tolerance, while quoting former PM, the late AB Vajpayee. At the same event, Gadkari had praised Nehru. This came as a surprise to many as the BJP has been critical of India’s first prime minister and his ideology.
Did Gadkari Praise Indira?
Gadkari’s praise wasn’t limited to just Nehru. Speaking on the sidelines of an exhibition organised by a self-help group, Gadkari had, on 6 January 2019, said it was her strong determination that made former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi rise through the ranks in a male-dominated party.
Tall Promises Before 2014 Maharashtra Elections?
In October 2018, Gadkari had said during a Marathi TV show that before the 2014 Assembly polls in Maharashtra, the BJP was open to making tall promises, as it was under-confident of coming to power.
“During 2014 elections, Devendra Fadnavis and late Gopinath Munde were leading the election campaign. We were sure we would not win. So they said, make tall promises. We wouldn’t be responsible to deliver because we won’t win anyway. But then, we won. Now, people started questioning us about our promises, along with the dates. What do we do now? We laugh it off and move on.”Nitin Gadkari
Following media reports that Gadkari was referring to the promises made by the BJP ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Gadkari later clarified that the comments were specific to the 2014 Assembly polls in Maharashtra and were made in jest.
Mood of the Republic?
While Gadkari’s history of unusual comments is on record, there’s been a lot of speculation about what he and the president of a party that the BJP considers its principal enemy talked about on 26 January 2019.
What was it that Gadkari and Rahul Gandhi were talking about? Well, we’ll only leave you with a picture of the two seated together.