BJP has right to appoint its members to institutions: Nitin Gadkari

Mumbai: Terming the return of awards by filmmakers and writers as "hypocrisy of the Leftists", Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today asserted that BJP had a right to appoint its members to institutes such as FTII.

Nitin Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari

"Returning of awards is a hypocrisy of the leftists," he said during an event of TV Today network here.

Stating that there have been many incidents in the country since 1947, he wondered why the filmmakers or the literati did not take such steps in the past.

Why didn't the repeated terror attacks in Mumbai prompt the same people to return their awards, he asked.

On the controversial appointment of actor Gajendra Chauhan to the Film and Television Institute of India, Gadkari said the students cannot decide who the chairman should be.

As the ruling party, BJP will appoint its members as the heads of institutes, which, the Union Minister said, has been the practise in Indian democracy for long.

It was unfair to target the BJP-led Union government for incidents like the murder of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and the Dadri lynching, as both the incidents had happened in the states ruled by other parties, he said.

The controversial statements by BJP leaders such as Sakshi Mahara should be ignored as they did not represent the party's views, Gadkari claimed.

It was difficult to discipline everybody into making responsible statements, the minister said, stressing that BJP chief Amit Shah had conveyed the party's displeasure to these leaders.

BJP doesn't want to be communal and believes that not every Muslim is a Pakistan sympathiser and it wants to genuinely work towards the uplift of the community, he said. The Nagpur MP also said casteism is a ground reality and also commended BJP's ally Shiv Sena's founder Bal Thackeray for creating a party beyond casteism.

The remark comes even as the relations between the ruling allies BJP and Shiv Sena in Maharashtra are increasingly under strain.

On BJP's chances in the ongoing Bihar polls, Gadkari exuded confidence that the party will win the elections being fought under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but added it had also seen worst of the defeats in its history.

On the spurt in prices for pulses, Gadkari said economic policies do not have a bearing on the rate of politically sensitive commodities like dal or onions. He regretted the Government went in for a smaller quantity of imports earlier this year, but expressed confidence that dal prices will correct once the new harvest comes into the market in December.

We need to establish irradiation technology-based storage units for onions and increase the dal warehousing to protect these commodities from price shocks, he said.

On the Supreme Court ruling on National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC), Gadkari sided with his party colleague Arun Jaitley in expressing reservations on the sensitive subject.

Clarifying that the law passed by the BJP Government with support from all political parties did give a major say to the judiciary in appointment of judges, he said in a democracy Parliament is the supreme body.

Early this month, the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the NJAC Act passed by the NDA Government last year.

Gadkari said "we need to embrace both modernism as well as traditional Indian values", but rued that looking down upon our legacy has become a part of "modern thinking".

Highlighting Government's achievements like push in economic growth and curbing inflation, he said NDA's 18-month-old administration has delivered more as compared with the 10 years of Congress-led UPA rule.

It is very difficult to fully satisfy a person's wishes, the Union Minister said, adding the Modi Government has taken all the right decisions and will do more in the remainder of its tenure.

Gadkari said individual ambitions have resulted in a decline in standards of politics.

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