Nagpur: Income tax officials should not forget that the Congress was on its way out, former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday as he arrived home to a massive welcome.
"The Income Tax department hatched a conspiracy on the direction of the Congress government. I have also got the names of the officials from some others who are sympathetic to me and our party. They (IT officials) should remember the Congress's boat is sinking, and when they go and our government comes, no Chidambaram or Sonia Gandhi will be there to save them," Gadkari said in a thinly veiled threat.
He also attacked the media, saying the press had no right to disturb the life of "honest" politicians.
"Will also tell media, there is democracy and if we make some mistakes run Breaking News all day. But the constitution does not give you the right to disturb the life of honest party workers and leaders," he said.
Gadkari arrived in his home town of Nagpur Thursday to a massive welcome, after narrowly missing a second term as party president after Tuesday's Income Tax 'surveys' of around nine locations connected to alleged financial wrongdoing by a company linked to him.
He stepped down Tuesday night to make way for Rajnath Singh as party president.
Maharashtra Congress seeks probe, action on Gadkari's remarks
Congress in Maharashtra today demanded "administrative inquiry and action" into former BJP president Nitin Gadkari's threat to Income Tax Department officials.
"Gadkari must be feeling frustrated. That is why he made such a statement," MPCC spokesperson Sachin Sawant said, referring to Gadkari's statement that IT sleuths would face the music when his party comes to power, and even Congress President Sonia Gandhi would not be able to save them.
"The mentality of Gadkari and of his party is amply evident from his remarks," Sawant said.
"Gadkari must have said this because the IT department started probe into bogus investment by bogus companies of his Purti group," Sawant said.
The "dual policy" of agreeing to any probe on one hand, and threatening probe officials on the other had come to the fore with this, Sawant said.
Cong dismisses Gadkari's threat
Congress on Thursday dismissed the threat held out by former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari to Income Tax authorities probing alleged dubious fundings in Purti group, with which he was associated, that nobody would save them when BJP comes to power at the Centre.
"There is no question of BJP coming to power. Leaders should not fight with officials....If Congress has prevented him from becoming the BJP President for a second term, it shows we are so powerful", Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury told reporters.
Her remarks came when asked to comment on Gadkari's remarks in Nagpur that the IT officials, who had carried out surveys on Purti Group companies, would not be saved after the "sinking" of the Congress boat when Sonia Gandhi and P Chidambaram would not be able to help as BJP will be in power.
On home turf in Nagpur for the first time since the on-field inquiries by taxmen on Tuesday put paid to his hope of getting a second straight term as BJP chief, Gadkari alleged "earlier CBI was doing at Congress's bidding and now the Income tax people are following suit".
IT sleuths carried out on-field inquiries at 11 premises in Mumbai belonging to alleged shell companies related to the Purti Group on January 22, a day ahead of the election for the post of BJP president.