Nitin Gadkari

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Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari 1 (cropped).JPG
Minister of Road Transport and Highways
Assumed office
26 May 2014
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byOscar Fernandes
Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Assumed office
31 May 2019
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byGiriraj Singh
Minister of Shipping
In office
26 May 2014 – 30 May 2019
Prime MinisterNarendra Modi
Preceded byG. K. Vasan
Succeeded byMansukh L. Mandaviya
President of Bharatiya Janata Party
In office
23 December 2009 – 23 January 2013
Preceded byRajnath Singh
Succeeded byRajnath Singh
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
Assumed office
16 May 2014
Preceded byVilas Muttemwar
Personal details
Born (1957-05-27) 27 May 1957 (age 62)
Nagpur, Bombay State, India
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s)Kanchan Gadkari
Alma materNagpur University
WebsiteOfficial website

Nitin Jairam Gadkari (/nitin ɡʌdkʌˈri/ (About this soundlisten); (born 27 May 1957)is an Indian politician[1] who is the current Minister for Road Transport & Highways of India and Shipping Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises[2] in the Government of India.[3] Gadkari earlier served as the President of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from 2010-13.[4] He is also known for his work as the Public Works Department Minister of the State of Maharashtra, where, under his leadership, a series of roads, highways and flyovers across the state were constructed - including the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, India's first six-lane concrete, high-speed expressway.[5][6] Gadkari is closely associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is headquartered in his home constituency of Nagpur.[7][8][9] He currently represents the Nagpur constituency in the Lok Sabha, and is a lawyer and industrialist by occupation.

Background and education[edit]

Nitin Gadkari was born into a Marathi Deshastha Brahmin family[10][11][12][13][14] in Nagpur, India to Jairam Gadkari and Bhanutai Gadkari.[15] During his adolescence, he worked for the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and the student union Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. He completed M.Com. and L.L.B. from Nagpur University.[16][17]

Political career[edit]

Nitin Gadkari served as the Minister of Public Works Department (PWD) of the Government of Maharashtra from 1995 to 1999 and restructured it from top to bottom.[18] He has served as the president of the Maharashtra BJP.[19]

Gadkari strongly supported privatisation while he campaigned for investments in infrastructure from private firms. He addressed several meetings between private investors, contractors, builders and various trade organisations and diverted large amounts of budgeted projects towards privatisation. Subsequently, the state government allocated Rs. 7 billion for rural connectivity. Over the next four years, all-weather road connectivity in Maharashtra was extended to 98% of the population. The project aimed to connect 13,736 remote villages which remained unconnected since independence by road.[20][21] It also helped ameliorate malnutrition in remote Melghat-Dharni area of Amravati district, which previously had no access to medical aid, ration or educational facilities.

The Union Government appointed him as the Chairman of National Rural Road Development Committee. After a series of meetings and studies, Gadkari submitted his report to the central government and gave the presentation to the Hon. Prime Minister of India. His new report was accepted and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, an ambitious rural road connecting scheme worth ₹600 billion, was launched.[22][23]

Just before the 2014 Maharashtra Assembly Elections, Election Commission of India on 6 October 2014 issued a show cause notice to Gadkari for "statements to the effect of inducing the voters to take bribe" during campaigning in Maharashtra assembly polls. According to the English translation of the speech made by the former BJP president in Marathi, he had allegedly said: "Now, I am watching your faces and I have some skill of predicting the future by way of face reading. You have an opportunity of "Laxmi darshan" in next 10 days. Special people to get foreign made, ordinary people to get local brand. All are Gandhivadis asking for ₹5000. In these days of inflation, keep one thing in mind, eat what you wish and drink what you desire. Keep whatever you get. This is the time when illegally earned money can go to poor. Therefore, do not say no to Laxmi. But think while you vote. Your vote should be for the development of Maharashtra." The Election Commission said his statement amounts to "abetting and promoting the electoral offence of bribery" within the meaning of Section 171 B read with Section 17l E of the IPC as it includes offering food, drink or entertainment.[24]

Positions served[edit]

As Public Works Department (PWD) Minister, Maharashtra, 1996-99[edit]

As PWD Minister of Maharashtra, Gadkari played a crucial rule in expediting the construction of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.[29] In 1990, the Government of Maharashtra conducted feasibility studies for the new expressway to be operated on a toll basis, however, it was only after Gadkari took over as PWD Minister[30] that the construction of this project was fast-tracked. Gadkari entrusted the work of the construction of Mumbai-Pune expressway to MSRDC in March 1997 on Build-Operate-Transfer basis with permission to collect toll for 30 years. The tender notice[31] was published in leading newspapers all over India and also on the Internet. Due to the wide publicity, 133 tenders were sold and on 18 December 1997, 55 tenders were received. After technical and financial evaluation, tenders were accepted and work orders were given on 1 January 1998 to four contractors. Thereafter tenders for widening of the Khandala and Lonavala-Khandala bypass works were invited. The tenders were received on 24 August 1998 and orders were issued on 4 September 1998. The first sections of the Expressway opened in 2000, and the entire route was completed, opened to traffic and made fully operational from April 2002.

The other major achievement of Gadkari as state minister[32] was the construction of 55 flyovers in Mumbai, which eased the city traffic problems significantly.

As President of BJP, 2009-2013[edit]

Gadkari was appointed the president of the BJP in December 2009. This was considering a tough phase for the BJP as the party had lost two successive Lok Sabha elections and needed a quick revamp.[33]

As party president, right from the start, Gadkari made his agenda very clear. He focused almost entirely on the ‘politics of development’. In his book, India Aspires,[34] co-authored with leading Indian author Tuhin Sinha,[35] Gadkari spells out his development ideas for the country in great detail. Increased institutional support to green energy, alternate fuel and effective waste management hold special importance in Gadkari's development plan. At a time when the country was plagued with the problem of policy paralysis under the UPA, Gadkari's proactive approach towards development, set a new and positive agenda for the country's politics.[36]

As party president, Gadkari, re-emphasized on legendary Jan Sangh leader Deen Dayal Upadhya's principles of Integral Humanism and Antyodaya (upliftment of the poor). At the same time, various cells[37][38] were constituted within the party to regularly monitor the develop work undertaken by various BJP state governments and to come up with new policy inputs.

Gadkari resigned as party president in January 2013.[39][40]

2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections[edit]

Gadkari contested 2014 Lok Sabha election successfully from Nagpur constituency and won. He defeated Congress party candidate Vilas Muttemwar by margin of 2,85,000. He retained his seat in 2019, defeating Nana Patole of Congress party by 2,16,000 margin.[1]

Union Minister[edit]

Gadkari became the Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Minister of Shipping in May 2014.[41] Out of the stalled projects he inherited, projects worth 1 trillion (US$14 billion) were terminated and others worth 350 billion (US$5.1 billion) were put up for rebidding.[42] He increased the pace of road creation in the country from 2 km/day to 16.5 km/day in his first year and to 21 km/day in the second year and end of 2018 30 km/day.[43] He reserved an amount of one percent of the total projects awarded in his tenure worth 2 trillion (US$29 billion) for trees and beautification.[44]

During the Second Modi ministry, Gadkari retained Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, while the Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation were replaced with Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises on 31 May 2019.[45]

Career as industrialist[edit]

During his career in politics, Gadkari set up a number of private industries and companies.[46] These include -

  • Poly sack Industrial Society Ltd – founder and chairman[25]
  • Nikhil Furniture and Appliances Pvt. Ltd – promoter and director[25]
  • Antyodaya Trust – founder and member[25]
  • Empress Employees Co-operative Paper Mills Ltd – founder and chairman[25]
  • Purti Power and Sugar Ltd / Purti Sakhar Karkhana Ltd – promoter[47]

Gadkari has registered himself as an agriculturist for tax purposes. He also started a fruit export company under the banner of "Ketaki overseas Trading Company".[25] He owns a total of 17 sugar plantations in Vidarbha under the banner of the Purti group. Nitin Gadkari floated the Purti Power and Sugar Ltd (now Purti Group) in 1995,[48] when he started as PWD minister in Maharashtra. In 2012, the companies came into the media glare based on irregularities unearthed by RTI activist Anjali Damania, the Income Tax department investigated a number of firms that had invested in Purti, and found more than a dozen of these to be bogus addresses.[49] Another three investing firms were found co-located with the Somani Group, but no one knew of these firms.[50]

In 2010, when the Purti group had incurred losses of Rs. 640 million,[51] the firm IRB, which had obtained hefty road contracts under Gadkari's term as PWD minister, loaned the group Rs. 1.64 billion, which was higher than Purthi's turnover of Rs. 1.45 billion. When questioned on Marathi channel IBN-Lokmat, about why he did not avail a loan from banks, Gadkari explained that the balance sheets of the company were not in a suitable state, so he had requested his friend Dattatray to help him out.[52] Also, Gadkari's son Nikhil was allegedly a director with IRB at the time. Gadkari argued that there was nothing wrong in having contractors invest in one's firms,[53] but opposition leaders have argued that all this suggests a quid pro quo for political favours granted by Gadkari.[54]

The news of these allegations broke a few months before Gadkari was to seek re-election as president of the BJP. At the time, Gadkari was to address several rallies for the 2012 Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly election. India Today reported that BJP leader Shanta Kumar had suggested that Gadkari's presence was "affecting BJP's anti-corruption campaign."[55] Subsequently, Gadkari cancelled his scheduled rallies at Bilaspur and Solan on 30 October.

In early 2013, in the elections for BJP president, for which Gadkari was "close to clinching a second innings"[56] his chances unravelled with several senior leaders suggesting that the I-T indictment of the Purti groups investments had damaged his image,[57] and Gadkari was not re-elected.[58] Gadkari told the Times of India that he was stepping down until the inquiry proved him innocent.[59] Some RSS functionaries have suggested that his exit was the result of infighting.[60] Subsequently, Gadkari threatened the I-T officers, saying "when our party comes to power, there would be no Chidambaram or Sonia to save them (I-T officials)"; Gadkari said,"Earlier CBI was doing Congress's bidding and now the I-T people are following suit."[61] The I-T officers association took umbrage at these remarks and demanded an apology.[62]

Eventually, in May 2013, the Income Tax department assessed that Gadkari's firms had evaded Rs. 70 million via such benami investments and other practices. On April 30. 2014, then Congress union Minister Manish Tewari apologised to Nitin Gadkari when he was dragged in to a defamation suit by the latter. This apology was based on the judicial commission mention that Gadkari had played no role or had no concern with the scam.[63] On May 13, 2014, the Income Tax department of Maharashtra state cleared Nitin Gadkari's name and gave him a clean chit saying there is no investigation presently pending.[52][64][65]

Personal life[edit]

Nitin Gadkari is married to Kanchan Gadkari and they have three children, Nikhil, Sarang and Ketki.[66] His eldest son Nikhil is married to Rutuja Pathak[67] and Sarang Gadkari is married to Madhura Rodi.[68] Gadkari family follows a vegetarian diet.[13]


In August 2019 Gadkari created controversy when he stated that he had advised the Union Finance Minister to "throw out" the RBI Governor because the latter was inflexible and adamant.[69] Earlier in January 2019 he had stated that leaders who failed to deliver on promises should get beaten up by people.[70]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b "Nagpur Election Results 2019: Nitin Gadkari defeats Congress's Nana Patole".
  2. ^ "Nitin Gadkari Retains Transport and Highways Ministry, Also Gets MSME in Modi Govt 2.0".
  3. ^ "Rajnath steps down, Gadkari takes over as BJP president". The Times of India.
  4. ^ "Profile: Nitin Gadkari". BBC News. 23 January 2013.
  5. ^ "Mumbai-Pune Expressway, India". Road Traffic Technology. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  6. ^ "BJP's new chief seen as moderniser".
  7. ^ Joseph, Manu (1 April 2019). "Opinion | A theory about the sudden rise of Nitin Gadkari". Retrieved 18 July 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  8. ^ "RSS is Likely Using Nitin Gadkari to Divide and Rule the BJP". The Wire. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  9. ^ "I'll be There For You: Why RSS Trusts Gadkari to Win Alliance Partners and Influence Opponents". News18. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  10. ^ Praveen Donthi. "Son Of The Sangh Nitin Gadkari's heritage as the RSS's man in reserve". The Caravan. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Brahmins bag most top BJP posts". India Today. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
  12. ^ Harish Damodaran (25 November 2018). INDIA'S NEW CAPITALISTS: Caste, Business, and Industry in a Modern Nation. Hachette UK. p. 20. ISBN 9789351952800. Retrieved 25 November 2018. The Mhaiskars are Chitpavan, while Gadkari is a Deshastha Brahmin
  13. ^ a b "Let's Drop Anchor". Outlook India. Retrieved 5 March 2015. In another mail of Friday, July 5, 2013, a detailed plan from Vaibhav Dange is forwarded to the captain by Sunil Bajaj, from Essar Services. This mail lists Nikhil and Sarang Gadkari as contact persons, and lists their mobile numbers. The planner adds, “Everybody is Vegetarian and prefers Asian vegetarian that is Indian Veg, Chinese Veg etc.”
  14. ^ "Gadkari loves his food & politics". Economic Times. Retrieved 21 December 2009. Mr Gadkari is full of ideas about development and food. Had it not been politics, he perhaps could have been one of the best food critics. His stout and rather over-nourished figure though stands testimony to his fondness for food, it actually doesn’t tell a complete story. An authority on pure vegetarian and Maharashtrian food, Nitin equally loves to take his friends on culinary trips
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Cabinet reshuffle: Modi government's got talent but is it being fully utilised?", The Economic Times, 10 July 2016
  17. ^ "For wedding of Nitin Gadkari's daughter, 50 chartered flights to ferry guests to Nagpur". The Indian Express. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  18. ^ Gadkari emerges as front-runner for post
  19. ^ "Nitin Gadkari takes over as new BJP chief, Rajnath steps down". MSN India. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  20. ^ "Nitin Gadkari sure to transform transport sector". MotorIndia. June 2014.
  21. ^ "Standard Bio-introduction of Shri Nitin Gadkari" (PDF).
  22. ^ "Nitin Gadkari wants Ganga – Cauvery Link of national rivers!". 12 May 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2010.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ [1][verification needed] Archived 31 December 2003 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "Maharashtra polls: Gadkari promises voters 'saris, shirts'; EC issues notice". IBNLive.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Nitin Gadkari | Nagpur News, Blogs, Jobs, Events, Classifieds, Travel, Education and Business Directory". Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  26. ^ BJP official site Archived 29 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ "Biography for Nitin Gadkari". Silobreaker. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
  28. ^ Kumar, Devesh (20 December 2009). "Features". The Times of India.
  29. ^ Dandekar, Hemalata C.; Mahajan, Sulakshana (2001). "MSRDC and Mumbai-Pune Expressway: A Sustainable Model for Privatising Construction of Physical Infrastructure?". Economic and Political Weekly. 36 (7): 549–559. ISSN 0012-9976. JSTOR 4410291.
  30. ^ "Nitin Gadkari: Minister of Road Transport and Highways, and Shipping". Indiatoday. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  31. ^ "One-man band". Telegraph. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  32. ^ "Nitin Gadkari – flyover man". Hindu. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  33. ^ "BJP's focus is on development, socio-economic reform, and nationalism: Nitin Gadkari". the hindu. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  34. ^ "THIS ONE HAS WALKED THE TALK". the pioneer. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  35. ^ "'Author' Gadkari spells out his aspirations". Free Press Journal. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  36. ^ "Shri Nitin Gadkari speech on good governance and development - Economic Activity Cell". Youtube. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  37. ^ "BJP creates Governance Cell, makes Goa ex-CM convenor". Indiatoday. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  38. ^ "Gadkari prescribes e-governance to battle corruption". Firstpost. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
  39. ^ Shrivastava, Rahul (January 2013). "Nitin Gadkari resigns; Rajnath Singh likely to be next BJP president". NDTV.
  40. ^ BS Reporter (January 2013). "BJP dumps Nitin Gadkari, gives Rajnath Singh his job". Business Standard.
  41. ^ Mahurkar 2017, p. 120.
  42. ^ Mahurkar 2017, p. 122.
  43. ^ Mahurkar 2017, pp. 121-122.
  44. ^ Mahurkar 2017, p. 123.
  45. ^ "PM Modi allocates portfolios. Full list of new ministers", Live Mint, 31 May 2019
  46. ^ PTI (19 December 2009). "Rajnath steps down, Gadkari takes over as BJP president". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  47. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  48. ^ "Purti Group".
  49. ^ Aditi Raja (9 November 2012). "I-T noose tightens around Nitin Gadkari, finds most of the addresses of investors in Purti group to be bogus". India Today.The Income Tax department, which had recently raided and searched the premises of various companies associated with the Purti group, [said in a report] that these 'shell companies' are 'fake' or 'non-existent'.
  50. ^ Sandeep Ashar & Rajshri Mehta (23 October 2012). "Mysterious investors in Gadkari's group share 'fake' addresses". Times of India.quote: Vidya Buildcon Private Ltd, Sanobar Infrastructure and Roller Multitrade — are all registered in an office on the second floor of Shree Niwas House... This was the headquarters of various companies belonging to the well-known Somani Group. Members of the Somani family and their employees present in the premises denied any knowledge regarding these firms.
  51. ^ "Gadkari denies allegations of murky dealings". The Hindu. 21 October 2012.
  52. ^ a b Will BJP president Nitin Gadkari get his second term in office? (26 October 2012). "In the Wrong Business". Kiran Tare and Bhavna Vij-Aurora.
  53. ^ Sreenivasan Jain; Miloni Bhatt; Abhinav Bhatt (20 October 2012). "Nothing wrong in getting investments from contractors: Nitin Gadkari tells NDTV". NDTV.
  54. ^ Krishna Kumar & Aditya Menon (16 October 2012). "Past returns to haunt BJP chief Nitin Gadkari". Daily Mail UK.
  55. ^ Bhavna Vij-Aurora (25 January 2013). "The burden of Gadkari". India Today.
  56. ^ "Nitin Gadkari: an ex-president of BJP trying to make Lok Sabha debut". NDTV. 28 March 2014.
  57. ^ BS Reporter (22 January 2013). "BJP dumps Nitin Gadkari, gives Rajnath Singh his job".
  58. ^ "BJP drops Nitin Gadkari, says Rajnath Singh to be president".
  59. ^ "What led to Nitin Gadkari's resignation as BJP president?". [Times of India].
  60. ^ Pavan Dahat (30 January 2013). "Gadkari's exit was due to internal political conspiracy, says Vaidya". The Hindu.
  61. ^ pti (24 January 2013). "Where will you go when BJP comes to power? Nitin Gadkari threatens I-T officials". Times of India.
  62. ^ "I-T officers' body demands apology from Gadkari". The Hindu. 27 January 2013.
  63. ^ Deepshikha Ghosh (30 April 2014). "Why Congress' Manish Tewari apologised to BJP's Nitin Gadkari".
  64. ^ "Income tax department clean chit to Nitin Gadkari, may get BJP chief post". timesofindia-economictimes.
  65. ^ "IT dept detects Rs. 7 crore evasion in Gadkari's companies". The Hindu. 5 May 2013.
  66. ^ "Gadkari' daughter ties knot at glittering ceremony, ministers, politicians attend function". The Indian Express. 4 December 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  67. ^ "The big-bang Gadkari wedding celebrations". NDTV. 2010.
  68. ^ Bhagwat, Ramu (6 June 2012). "Not that big fat Indian wedding this time for Nitin Gadkari's son | Nagpur News". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  69. ^ "Gadkari tells Finance Minister to sack RBI Governor". Business Standard. 12 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  70. ^ "Nitin Gadkari remarks reflect voices within BJP". Economic Times. 12 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.


External links[edit]

Lok Sabha
Preceded by
Vilas Muttemwar
Member of Parliament
for Nagpur

2014 – Present
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Oscar Fernandes
Minister of Road Transport and Highways
26 May 2014 - Present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
G. K. Vasan
Minister of Shipping
26 May 2014 - 26 May 2019
Succeeded by
Mansukh L. Mandaviya
Minister of State
(Independent Charge)
Preceded by
Gopinath Munde
Minister of Rural Development
4 June 2014 - 9 November 2014
Succeeded by
Chaudhary Birender Singh
Preceded by
Gopinath Munde
Minister of Panchayati Raj
4 June 2014 - 9 November 2014
Succeeded by
Chaudhary Birender Singh
Preceded by
Gopinath Munde
Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation
4 June 2014 - 9 November 2014
Succeeded by
Chaudhary Birender Singh
Preceded by
Uma Bharti
Minister of Water Resources,
River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation

3 September 2017 - 26 May 2019
Succeeded by
Ministry renamed as Jal Shakti
Gajendra Singh Shekhawat
Preceded by
Giriraj Singh
Minister of State
(Independent Charge)
Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
30 May 2019 - Present