Will fight graft charges: Gadkari

BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Monday vowed to fight the charges levelled against him. "I am a street-fighter. I have been accused of wrongs I haven't committed. I will not sit quiet. I will take this fight to the courts as well as to the people," he said.

Specifically mentioning a "media house", he said it had laundered money in Mauritius after buying Rs 10 shares for Rs 38,000. "I have the papers. I won't leave those unchallenged who have indulged in character assassination," he warned.

Addressing a crowd of supporters near Gadkari Wada (residence), where he was escorted in a procession by his supporters from the airport after he arrived in the morning from New Delhi, the BJP president said: " The Congress and their media agents ran all false stories against me. I have done no wrong. I and my family have shares only worth Rs 1 lakh in Purti group. Let anyone investigate. I have myself volunteered to be probed."

Gadkari said: "The media said I have laundered money. The investor companies were described as Purti companies, when Purti isn't responsible for their details. If you have some company's shares, do you own that company? Similarly if some companies have shares in Purti, do they become Purti's adjuncts? How am I responsible if companies have shown some wrong addresses?"

Asserting that he had built houses for poor workers at concessional rates, he added: "NDTV said I am a builder. Many of you here are beneficiaries of those Rs 400 per sq ft houses. Do you get a house at that low a price anywhere?"

"Why would I indulge in a loss-making business like running sugar mills if I were to make money? The Purti group has losses of Rs 64 crore. I took loan from a company. Is taking loan wrong? I am also repaying it. All of it on record. I would have been a contractor and a builder if I were to make money. I started defunct sugar units because I wanted to help debt-ridden farmers of Vidarbha," he said.

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