- "Leaders fond of spinning dreams, promise only what's possible," he said
- Asaduddin Owaisi said Nitin Gadkari's message was for PM Modi
- Mr Gadkari was seen sitting with Rahul Gandhi at Republic Day event
Union minister Nitin Gadkari, who recently made headlines with a series of cryptic comments seen as hidden messages to the BJP leadership, had more to say on Sunday. His words delighted the Congress and Asaduddin Owaisi, who declared that Mr Gadkari's message was for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Political leaders are fond of spinning dreams, but if they cannot deliver it, they may take a beating from the people. So promise only what is possible," Mr Gadkari told reporters in Mumbai. "I'm not one of those who spin dreams. Whatever I say is with 100 per cent authority," added the minister, who was seen sitting and chatting with Rahul Gandhi at Saturday's Republic Day function.
Asaduddin Owaisi, the chief of AIMIM, tweeted:
"Union minister Nitin Gadkari has launched an attack on PM Narendra Modi... Modi ji, the people are coming," tweeted the Madhya Pradesh Congress, quoting the minister.
After the BJP's recent setback in the heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, Mr Gadkari had said, "Leadership should have the vrutti (tendency) to own up the defeat and failures. Loyalty of the leadership towards the organisation will not be proved till the time it owns up responsibility for defeat".
A day later, he alleged that his "detractors" - the opposition and a section of the media - were trying to "drive a wedge" between him and the party leadership.
His tweet read: "In the last few days, I have noticed a sinister campaign by some opposition parties and a section of the media to twist my statements and use them out of context and draw politically motivated inferences to malign me and my party."
Mr Gadkari has also rubbished rumours about him replacing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, fuelled by a letter from a farmer leader to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS, the ideological mentor of the BJP.
"Leaders who pursue an extremist and dictatorial attitude in the party and government are dangerous for the society and the country... This has been witnessed before and if history is not to be repeated, hand over the reins to (Nitin) Gadkari for the 2019 polls," said Kishore Tiwari, chairman of the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission in his letter to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and General Secretary Bhaiyyaji Suresh Joshi.
There have also been reports that the Shiv Sena has offered to support the BJP if Mr Gadkari is given the top job in place of PM Modi after the elections.
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