Media zeroes in on Gadkari aides and Purti

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 26, 2012 08:40 hrs

New Delhi: Close aides of BJP president Nitin Gadkari, including his driver, were directors in the companies that funded his Purti group, according to media investigations.

A CNN IBN report on Friday said "four of Gadkari's very close aides, including his former driver and accountant, have been directors in at least 26 companies and that too within a period of the past four years."

The BJP leader's former driver Manohar Panse was a director in 11 companies between 2009 and 2011, the channel reported.

According to an NDTV report, a company called Regency Equifin Private Limited is one company that bought among others the Purti group in 2007 by paying Rs 4.3 crore, but a year later it started borrowing from Gadkari and Puri group.

Gadkari's accountant Kawu Zade is one of the directors of Regency Equifin Pvt Ltd which reports said bought over Rs 4 crore shares in Purti Group in 2007-8 and then got Rs 26 lakh unsecured loan from Gadkari.

It also took Rs 95 lakh from Puri group in 2011, according to balance sheet, media reports said.

Gadkari had last year quit as chairman of Purti and now owns only 200 shares in the company, reports said.

On Thursday, demanding probe against Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president has failed to give proper reply to the corruption allegations levelled against him.

Demanding a probe into the matter, Pilot said: "The probe should be held at the required time and by the concerned authority. In case there is any malafide involved in it or if there is any omission or commission then law will take its own course."

A probe into the business of Gadkari is being conducted by the Registrar of Companies in Mumbai and Nagpur where the Purti group of companies are based and registered.

Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily earlier said the Registrar of Companies (RoC) has been asked to send a report on the alleged source of funding of the Purti group of industries, set up by Gadkari in 2001.

Gadkari earlier refuted the charges of using shell companies to fund his business and of receiving investments from contractors in Maharashtra.

Political opponents of the BJP chief had alleged that Gadkari's Purti group of companies accepted loans and investments from DP Mhaiskar, the founder of the Ideal Road Builders, which are quid pro quo.

Gadkari, denying the charges, told NDTV that he has not done any favours to Ideal Road Builders.

He said, "I can accept equity from anyone, there is nothing wrong. I am friends with Mr Mhaiskar and many contractors are my friends. Purti has losses of Rs 64 crores, Mhaiskar loaned me Rs 165 crores from his company, and I have repaid him Rs 64 crores."

The news channel had earlier reported that the companies that are named as the investors of Gadkari's company apparently did not exist.

Social activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal accused Gadkari of having ties with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Maharashtra to boost his business interests in Vidarbha region at the cost of poor farmers.

Gadkari opposing the charges said, this is an effort to politically malign him.

He said that his efforts were focused on helping farmers in Vidarbha.

More from Sify: