New Delhi, Oct. 23 (ANI): The ruling Congress Party, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and representatives of the UPA-II Government on Tuesday engaged in a verbal joust over a delay in probing allegations that BJP president Nitin Gadkari's Purti business group was engaged in illegal activities.
While Union Minister for Coporate Affairs and Power Veerappa Moily said that the government was not going slow on the allegations, the BJP leadership defended Gadkari against any wrong doing.
Moily said: "I have heard about the allegations, shall look into the allegations to see whether books are in order. I have asked secretary and registrar of companies to look into it."
He also added that there was no connection between the allegations against Robert Vadra and Nitin Gadkari, and that it was wrong to say that the government was going slow on allegation against Gadkari.
Gadkari's business interests have come under a cloud after details surfaced saying that the shell companies have been found to have invested in his Purti Group.
Reports revealed that an infrastructure company called IRB gave Purti Ltd a loan of Rs 165 crores, two years after IRB was awarded road contracts by Gadkari when he was Maharashtra's Public Works Department Mminister.
Purti Power and Sugar Ltd in which Gadkari owns shares, consists of 18 companies that hold 80 per cent of equity in Purti Industries, and are seemingly shell companies. These companies do not exist at their registered addresses.
The Congress has demanded an inquiry into the shell companies.
Also, directors of investor companies in Purti include Gadkari's driver, accountant and employees of Purti themselves.
Manohar Panse, Gadkari's driver is a director in five of Purti's investor companies. Between 2009 and 2011, Panse was a director in six other companies. Nineteen of these investor companies were registered with same email id.
BJP MP Ram Jethmalani, however, demanded Gadkari's resignation, saying the fresh allegations against him in the Maharashtra land scam will compromise the BJP's campaign against corruption.
He said Gadkari should not be given the second term as the BJP president as there are serious allegations of corruption against him.
BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi defended Gadkari, saying "Whatever allegations are there, we've given clarification several times. We can give it again if needed. There is no embarrassment of any sorts to the party."
Sudhir Dive, Managing Director of Purti Sugar and Power Ltd, also said that all the allegations against Gadkari are baseless and politically inspired.
He said: "As of today, Nitin Gadkari has no relation with the Purti group. We were given a loan of Rs 164 crore from Global Safety Vision. It has to be returned in 73 installments. There are 10500 shareholder of Purti group. One or two address might be wrong. We are ready for any probe." (ANI)