Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Nitin Gadkari on Saturday made it clear that no one, including anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal, could replace it in its Opposition role.
Speaking to IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, Gadkari further said that while the BJP was aware of allegations against Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra for a long time, it did not proceed on them as it had no concrete evidence.
Below is the edited transcript of the interview.
Rajdeep Sardesai: The Robert Vadra issue began in March 2011. It is October 2012 now. Why has the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) been quiet all along? Why didn't you raise this issue when it first came out in The Economic Times?
Nitin Gadkari: I have not received any paperwork on this matter.
Rajdeep Sardesai: At no stage were you informed about Vadra's involvement?
Nitin Gadkari: I have no paperwork. I kept hearing about it but I had no evidence. I can't accuse anyone of anything without evidence, can I?
Rajdeep Sardesai: The BJP has always targeted the Congress party but on this matter the BJP has not said anything. This gives the impression that some BJP leaders may also have connections to DLF and may want to protect Vadra?
Nitin Gadkari: Without any evidence, connecting a person to some case is not ethical. If the Congress is brave enough they should investigate these reports. What are they afraid of?
Rajdeep Sardesai: The reason I'm asking you this is because that same Arvind Kejriwal is also targeting you. He held a press conference targeting you.
Nitin Gadkari: I am 100 per cent ready for any inquiry. I have no problem.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Do you think that Arvind Kejriwal is making baseless allegations? Many are saying that he, and not the BJP, is taking on the role of the Opposition today? Are you worried that Kejriwal is targeting both the BJP and the Congress?
Nitin Gadkari: Let Kejriwal do whatever he wants. I am not at all worried about him.
Rajdeep Sardesai: You don't think he will take the Opposition's place?
Nitin Gadkari: Not at all.