A day after becoming a ‘‘free man’’, Nitin Gadkari on Thursday held out a threat to income tax authorities, probing dubious fundings in the Purti Group with which he was associated, saying nobody would save them when BJP came to power at the Centre.
‘‘As BJP president I had to maintain dignity and work within boundaries....Now I am a free man. Congress’ boat is about to sink and when our party comes to power, there would be no Chidambaram or Sonia to save them (IT officials),’’ Gadkari said addressing party workers, a day after demitting office.
On home turf for the first time since the on-field inquiries by taxmen on Tuesday put paid to his hope of getting a second straight term as BJP chief, Gadkari said, earlier CBI was doing Congress’s bidding and now the income tax people are following suit.
‘‘I know how they are hatching conspiracies against me sitting in Delhi , Nagpur and Pune....I also know their names. Some people in the organisation sympathetic to me and BJP have told me about this,’’ he said.
IT’s on-field inquiries at 11 premises in Mumbai belonging to alleged shell companies related to the Purti Group on January 22, a day ahead of the election for the post of BJP president, which Gadkari looked all set to win with RSS backing, had forced a rethink and he was finally elbowed out of the contest.
Attacking Congress ‘‘dynastic politics’’, the former BJP president said,‘‘Ek malkin baki sab naukar (There is only one master and rest all servants.’’
He also accused Congress-led UPA government of ‘‘blackmailing’’ Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati using the CBI.
‘‘Political crises are part of one’s life and I am not perturbed by such things. I am doing social work to help the poor and farmers in the suicide belt of Maharashtra and will continue to do so,’’ Gadkari said and slammed a section of media for targeting him.
Amid loud cheers from his supporters who demanded that he contest the next Lok Sabha election from Nagpur, Gadkari said,‘‘you (workers) will contest and you will win.’’
Hundreds of party workers, including state BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar, Nagpur Mayor Anil Sole, besides several legislators and party functionaries had assembled near the airport where he addressed them.
Gadkari was later driven in an open-top vehicle in a convoy by his supporters to his residence ' Gadkari Wada' in Mahal area