Editorial with Sujit Nair: Does Gadkari worry Modi ?

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In this editorial episode, Mr. Sujit Nair delves into the potential emergence of Nitin Gadkari as an alternative Prime Ministerial candidate should the BJP fail to secure an outright majority in India’s government. Additionally, he raises concerns about subtle attempts to discredit Gadkari through certain reports from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, potentially aimed at sidelining him from the race for the Prime Minister’s office. Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari recently responded to an audit report critiquing the management of funds for the Dwarka Expressway project. In this report, it was claimed that an extravagant sum of Rs 250 crore was expended per kilometer on the project, significantly exceeding the Rs 18.2 crore per kilometer sanctioned by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). Gadkari vehemently refuted these allegations of “”high construction costs,”” asserting that the length of the Dwarka Expressway was not the reported 29 kilometers, but rather around 230 kilometers, accounting for the inclusion of tunnels. According to his explanation, the actual cost per kilometer amounted to Rs 9.5 crore. Gadkari maintained that he had communicated this clarification to CAG officials, who were purportedly convinced by his argument. However, despite this, the CAG report was still published. In essence, Mr. Sujit Nair’s editorial piece raises questions about the timing and motivation behind the CAG report’s release, insinuating that it may be part of a larger strategy to undermine Nitin Gadkari’s political aspirations as a potential Prime Ministerial candidate should the BJP fail to secure a clear majority in the government.

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