Underlining that he believes in the 'politics of service' more than the 'politics of power', Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari refuted speculations suggesting that he is planning to quit politics, while stating that he is not upset with the BJP's decision to not include him in the party's Parliamentary Board.In a conversation with IANS, Gadkari said that his views were not correctly interpreted, adding that he has no reasons to quit politics.
Here are excerpts from the interview:
IANS: Some of your statements have been in the headlines for the last few months. There were also talks that you would be hanging boots, and won't contest the next election. Is there any truth in them?
Gadkari: I have said that serving the society is politics, and politics is not just about power. Politics means social work, and working for the nation as well as carrying out developmental work. It's about working for the villages, the under-privileged, the labourers and the Dalits.
We need to re-define the meaning of politics and take it to the people. When I spoke about this, some people wrote that I was about to quit politics, whereas I did not say anything at all about contesting polls. I just said that I am more interested in the 'politics of service' than the 'politics of power'. However, some people wrongly interpreted that.
IANS: So there are no plans to quit politics?
Gadkari: I have never spoken of quitting politics, and I have no reasons to do so.
IANS: But there were some reports claiming that you were upset about not being included in the BJP Parliamentary Board...
Gadkari: Neither do I think of that, nor am I upset. I am a 'Conviction Oriented' worker, and I work for ideology. Hence, there is no question of being upset. I try to work on any task assigned to me by the party, and I will continue doing so.
IANS: The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government was known for the construction of rural roads. Do you think the Modi government will be tagged as a 'Highway Government' or '6-lane Government'?
Gadkari: For the first time in the country's history, a crucial task of connecting over six lakh villages with roads was undertaken during the tenure of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. I was then a Maharashtra cabinet minister, and Vajpayee had formed a committee under my chairmanship to come up with the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. His government had started the national highway construction work since then.
When I got the opportunity to become a minister in PM Modi's cabinet, I started working on the base laid by Vajpayee, and worked on transforming the country's road infrastructure. My mission and objective is to make India's national highways at par with the US' by 2024.