Friday, 26 October 2012

RSS leaders meet to decide on Gadkari's fate, sources say they stand by him

RSS leaders meet to decide on Gadkari's fate, sources say they stand by him 
Clean Media Correspondent

Mumbai, Oct 26 (CMC) Top RSS functionaries met on Friday at RSS headquarters in Nagpur to discuss the controversy surrounding Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari's businesses. The RSS has decided to stand by Gadkari, say sources. RSS sources say there is no question of asking Gadkari to step down. "Gadkari is being targeted, we stand by him. We will push for Gadkari's second term as BJP president," RSS sources said.
The BJP has also been standing by Gadkari despite the allegations that hit him and his companies. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Thursday stood by the BJP president, saying he is not running away from media. "The Prime Minister says money does not grow on tree. I would like to tell him that money falls in the pockets of Congress leaders. Gadkari did not run away. He faced media and answered every query," Swaraj said while addressing a public rally in Mandi in Himachal Pradesh.
Despite the growing allegations of corruption against him, Gadkari is all set to hit the campaign trail in Himachal Pradesh from October 27. Elections in the state are just 10 days away.

Meanwhile, a TV Channel has also accessed documents showing that four of Gadkari's very close aides, including his former driver and accountant, have been directors in at least 26 companies and that too within a period of the past four years. Gadkari's former driver, Manohar Panse was a director in 11 companies between 2009 and 2011. Gadkari's very close aide, Kawdu Zade, has been a director in 16 companies in the same period. Purti employee Nishant Agnihotri has been a director in 13 companies.
A very close aide, Sagar Kotwaliwale has been a director in 9 companies. Like the controversial Purti Sugar and Power Private Ltd. in Nagpur, there are three more companies controlled by the 4 close aides of Gadkari.
The Channel had on Thursday also accessed details of one of the alleged shell companies that invested in Gadkari's Purti Group. Regency Equifin Pvt Ltd interestingly has Gadkari's accountant Kawu Zade and other employees in Purti as directors.
Also, records show that Regency Equifin both borrowed from and lent money to Gadkari. The company bought shares worth Rs 4 crore in Gadkari's Purti Group in 2008. The 2008-09 balance sheet of Regency Equifin shows Gadkari gave unsecured loans of Rs 26 lakh. In 2011, the balance sheet of Regency Equifin shows that the loss-making Purti gave Rs 95 lakh to it.
The Income Tax department on Thursday began probe into Purti Power and Sugar Ltd (PPSL). I-T authorities said they will also probe source of funds of the 18 companies that invested in Purti. Prima facie evidence suggested that shell companies had invested in Purti. Sources said that if necessary Gadkari might also be summoned in the case.
Gadkari is at the centre of a raging controversy over funding of PPSL with media reports claiming that major investments and large loans to Purti were made by Ideal Road Builders (IRB) group, which had won contracts between 1995 and 1999, when the BJP chief was PWD minister in Maharashtra.
Reports also claimed that shell companies were floated for making investments and their fake addresses were submitted to the Registrar of Companies. On Tuesday, Corporate Affairs Minister Veerappa Moily had said that Registrars of Companies would inquire into the allegations. On his part, Gadkari has denied the allegations and said he was prepared for a probe.

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