Congress today demanded the immediate sacking of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari alleging that the awarding of the Rs 10,050 crore Zozila pass tunnel contract to IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd was a “clear case of corruption at the highest level”.
Party General Secretary Digvijay Singh told reporters at party headquarters that Gadkari, heading the Road Transport and Highways Ministry, has allegedly violated the CVC guidelines while awarding the contract.
However, Gadkari rubbished the charges of corruption and said Singh’s allegations were “completely false” as the
Ministry followed a transparent e-tender system. He also denied that his son was a director in IRB Infrastructure
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Singh claimed that what was strange and unheard of is that the IRB was the sole bidder for the massive project in Jammu and Kashmir. He said government should have gone in for the Swiss challenge method.
Swiss challenge is a form of public procurement which requires a public authority that has received an unsolicited bid for a public project (such as a port, road or railway) or services to be provided to government, to publish the bid and invite third parties to match or exceed it.
Singh alleged that Gadkari had business dealings with Dattatreya Mhaiskar, head of IRB, which had shares in the controversial Purti group floated by the Minister. He claimed Gadkari’s son Nikhil was director for some years in a subsidiary of IRB.