Gadkari tells I-T officers: Who will protect you when BJP wins power?


Saying he was now a "free" man and a "mard" (macho), former BJP president Nitin Gadkari Thursday warned income-tax officers that there would be no one to protect them when the BJP comes to power at the Centre in 2014.

Gadkari's comments came a day after he was forced to step aside and not seek a second term as party president following fresh income-tax investigations into investors in his Purti group.

The bruised BJP leader from Nagpur returned to his hometown on Thursday and addressed hundreds of his supporters outside the airport, focusing mostly on his own political career, while senior BJP leaders in New Delhi were protesting against Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's "saffron terror" remark.

"The conspiracy was going on against me day in and day out in Mumbai and Delhi. I had a lot of restrictions while I was party president. I am no longer one, and I am today a free man. I am a fighter, I love to fight," Gadkari said. "I will take this fight to the end and will expose all big Congress leaders at the Centre. When we come to power, who will be there to save them (I-T officers)?"

He also described Congress as a party of "one landlady and the rest servants".

Gadkari was taken to his Gadkari Wada house in the Mahal area of the city in a procession like in 2009 when he was named party president and in 2012 when many questions were raised in the media over alleged irregularities in his Purti group.

Hinting that he will have a role to play in Delhi in the future, Gadkari asked his supporters to gear for elections. "Your love and affection is my strength," he said. Gadkari has in the past said that he will contest Lok Sabha elections from Nagpur.

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