Nagpur: Back home after securing endorsement from his party, a combative BJP chief Nitin Gadkari on Monday threatened to file civil and criminal cases against media houses "defaming" him as part of a "conspiracy" hatched by the Congress. (Agencies)
"Certain media groups are acting as 'dalals' (agents) of Congress party. Two English TV channels and one English national daily are behind the vicious campaign against me and are playing into the hands of Congress," Gadkari said addressing his supporters here on return from Delhi.
Gadkari, who was accorded a warm reception by BJP workers and leaders, claimed innocence and vowed to "teach a lesson" to those engaged in the "slander campaign".
"A big media group had routed black money parked in London via Mauritius and manipulated shares worth Rs 10 each by selling them at Rs 38,000 each," he said without naming the media house and claimed he possessed relevant documents.
Also, in a statement that could lend itself to various interpretations, Gadkari said," I had neither sought the post of national president of BJP nor would I seek continuation."
Bowing to the wishes of the RSS, BJP had at its Surajkund convention in September amended its constitution enabling the party president, state and district unit chiefs to get a second term, to pave the way for Gadkari to seek another term after he completes his present tenure in December.
Party's Rajya Sabha MP Ram Jethmalani had recently asked Gadkari not to seek a second term in office in the wake of allegations of corruption against him.
Attacking the Congress, Gadkari said, "The ruling party is involved in huge corruption of Rs 4.38 lakh crore including the coal blocks allocation scam, CWG and the 2G case. Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, is also facing Rs 400 crore corruption charges in land deals in Haryana."
"The face of Congress party is blackened by a number of corruption allegations," he said.
Gadkari is under attack over dubious funding of Purti Power and Sugar Ltd controlled by him with media reports claiming that major investments and large loans to it were made by a construction firm Ideal Road Builders (IRB) group, which had won contracts between 1995 and 1999, when he was PWD minister in Maharashtra.
Denying that he held any top position in Purti, Gadkari said he owned shares worth only Rs one lakh.
He said he was doing "social service" and 12,000 farmers from the area were stake-holders in the firm which had run losses of Rs 64 crore.
Gadkari, who was driven in a convoy of about 15 cars and scores of two-wheelers from the airport to his residence 'Gadkari Wada', where he addressed a big crowd of supporters, said he would "fight till the end without any fear".
Accusing the Congress of "ordering IT raids" at his firms previously, the BJP chief said in a lighter vein, "I asked the Income Tax officials that when I have no income, then why these raids?"
Gadkari asserted he was ready to face trial in 'janata adalat' (people's court) and was also willing to be subjected to any probe by the government.
"I am accused of favouring contractors and construction firms during my stint as PWD minister in Maharashtra, But I have not misused my position," he said.
"During my term as minister, I had rejected tenders worth Rs 3,600 crore (for the Mumbai-Pune Expressway project) where the PWD carried out the work worth Rs 1,800 crore, thereby saving Rs 2000 crore of the state exchequer," he said.
On the other hand, he said, the project cost of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link awarded to Hindustan Construction Company was Rs 420 crore which finally escalated to Rs 1,800 crore.
Nagpur: Back home after securing endorsement from his party, a combative BJP chief Nitin Gadkari on Monday threatened to file civil and criminal cases against media houses "defaming" him as part of a "conspiracy" hatched by the Congress.