Aam Aadmi Party has decided to launch a public awareness campaign against former BJP president Nitin Gadkari for his alleged involvement in land scams following the arrest of its chief Arvind Kejriwal,
“AAP will launch a public awareness campaign to remind the people about the involvement of former BJP President Nitin Gadkari in mega land scams and his attempts to provide favours to private companies in Maharashtra.
“The party will not allow any political leader involved in corruption to escape public scrutiny and the party stands solidly behind the principled stand taken by its national convenor Arvind Kejriwal in the fight against corruption,” the party said in a statement.
Earlier on Thursday, senior party leader Sanjay Singh had said that it would launch a campaign against Gadkari. Party sources said that it has already launched a door-to-door campaign against Gadkari.
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Kejriwal, on Wednesday, was sent to judicial custody after he refused to furnish a bond of Rs 10,000 in a defamation suit filed by Gadkari.
The party also took a dig at Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi and doubted if the BJP leader could fight corruption if Gadkari is inducted in the council of ministers.
“It remains to be seen whether Modi who has promised to fight corruption and criminalisation of politics, will keep his word or will he include leaders like Gadkari and BS Yeddyurappa in his council of ministers”, the statement said.
The party said that Gadkari had remained largely silent except for muted denials in 2012 when the AAP had “exposed” personal favours given to him by the Congress/NCP government of Maharashtra.
“Gadkari had managed around 100 acres of agricultural land in his possession by bending rules with the state government’s help. This land was to be returned to farmers but this was not done. The AAP had also exposed Mr Gadkari’s interest in sugar, ethanol and other businesses and the benami companies owned by his Purti Group,” the party said.
It was only earlier this year when AAP made an announcement that it will put up candidates against corrupt leaders and named Gadkari in the list, that he filed a complaint of criminal defamation against Kejriwal. The party had also fielded Anjali Damania from Nagpur against the BJP leader. But lost to Gadkari.