What Nitin Gadkari said about being in the race for PM post

March 18,2024

Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said that he has never been in the race for the prime minister’s post and that he is content with whatever he has.

Gadkari made the remarks during an interview with The Times of India. He was responding to a question about the speculation that he could be a "consensus PM face" in case the Narendra Modi-led NDA government fails to secure a majority mark in the coming Lok Sabha.

“I was never in the race for the prime minister’s job. I am content with whatever I am today. I am a committed BJP worker with conviction, not a politician by calculation,” Gadkari told the newspaper.

He added: “I believe in Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. Under PM Narendra Modi, the NDA govt is doing a commendable job. I am confident we will again form the govt at the Centre for the third time under Modi’s leadership.”

Gadkari also spoke on the inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and allegations of an “aggressive Hindutva” projected by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“I frankly think the Ram temple issue should not be politicised. It’s a question of faith and people are happy their dream has come true,” Gadkari said.

The minister for road transport & highways also said that he does not believe in the divisive politics of caste, creed or religion.

“I do not believe in divisive politics of caste, creed or religion. The temple was mandated by the Supreme Court after a protracted legal battle and people’s struggle. It was also in our manifesto. We are happy to fulfil the wishes of the people,” he told The Times of India.

Gadkari also refuted speculation of any differences between him and Maharashtra's deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

“I initiated Fadnavis’ political entry after meeting his father. When there are two big leaders from the same region, people tend to gossip. I don’t interfere or complain,” he said. “There are no differences between us. Even state BJP president Chandrashekhar Bawankule seeks my advice. I tell them to make decisions after weighing the pros and cons.”

Gadkari, BJP's candidate from Nagpur, also took a dig at the Congress, saying that what the BJP government at the Centre could do in the last 10, the grand old party failed to do in the last 60-65 years.

“In 2019, we showcased development to ensure another victory. Ten years down the line, we can say what BJP achieved in a decade, Congress failed to do in the last 60-65 years,” he said.

He added: “People have reposed faith in the Modi govt and will once again elect us with a record margin. There’s positivity due to the development over the last decade and we will definitely cross the 400+ mark this time.”