A day after he was quoted as saying that the “leadership” should own up to “defeats and failures”, Union Minister and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari on Sunday sought to dispel the impression that he was targeting the party’s top leadership in the wake of its defeat in the recent assembly elections.
Gadkari, a former BJP president, said he was not in any “race” and the BJP would contest the Lok Sabha elections under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking on the sidelines of a function in Pune on Sunday, he said his speech on Saturday, delivered in Marathi, had been “twisted” by the media and his comments were made in the context of banking successes and failures.
Speaking at an event organised by the Pune District Urban Cooperative Banks Association Limited on Saturday, Gadkari had said: “It is obvious in the banking sector that banks achieve success and sometimes they face failure. Banks have to face both the situations. In our political field, when there is a failure, a committee is formed; but in case of success, nobody comes and asks you why you won. Because victory has many fathers, but defeat is an orphan. When there is success, there will be a race to claim credit. But in case of failure, everybody will start pointing fingers at each other.”
“After a defeat in any state or Lok Sabha elections, the defeated candidates start grumbling that they did not get adequate support. A candidate told me that he lost because he did not get posters on time, that he did not get funds, the rally he had sought was cancelled… entire atmosphere was spoiled. I once told a candidate that you lost because you and your party lacked somewhere and that you lost because you failed to gain confidence of the people. I told him he should not blame others for your failure,” Gadkari had said.
“Leadership should have the tendency to own up defeats and failures. Loyalty of the leadership towards the organisation will not be proved till the time it owns up responsibility for the defeat,” he had said.
On Sunday, Gadkari blamed the media for quoting him out of context and giving the impression that he was targeting the BJP leadership. “My full speech in Marathi is available and everything I said was in the context of banking alone. Neither did it (the speech) refer to any elections nor to any political leader. However, a section of the media twisted my statements and even linked it to the recent state elections after conveniently adding up their own content,” he said.
He said while the media was free to write whatever it wanted, “it is not a good practice to put out content which was not spoken by me in my name”.
Gadkari also issued similar clarifications in a series of tweets earlier in the day. “In the last few days, I have noticed a sinister campaign by some Opposition parties and a section of the media to twist my statements and use them out of context and draw politically motivated inferences to malign me and my party,” he tweeted.
“I have time and again strongly refuted such insinuations and once again condemn all these malafide and mischievous out of context reports attributed to me,” he tweeted.
“Let me make it clear once and for all that conspiracies to create a wedge between me and the BJP leadership will never succeed. I have been clarifying my position at various forums and shall continue to do so and expose these nefarious designs of our detractors,” he tweeted.
Gadkari said he was confident that the BJP would get a “reasonable” majority in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
After the recent losses faced by the party in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra farm leader Kishor Tiwary had written a letter to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, saying that Gadkari should replace party president Amit Shah.
“In a democracy, everybody has the right to put forth their own opinions. If someone is writing something, how am I related to the same,” Gadkari said today.