PULLQUOTE

India Today - - UPFRONT -

“We were very con­fi­dent that we would never come to power, so we were ad­vised to make tall prom­ises. Since we weren’t go­ing to come to power, we wouldn’t be re­spon­si­ble. But then the peo­ple voted us into power and now the pub­lic re­minds us of those prom­ises. We just laugh and move on” Trans­port min­is­ter NITIN GAD­KARI, speak­ing on a Marathi TV show, made a some­what hon­est ad­mis­sion—that po­lit­i­cal par­ties ex­ag­ger­ate and dis­sem­ble in or­der to win votes. Laugh­ing on a sofa, along­side ac­tor Nana Patekar—at the cen­tre of a still roil­ing storm over sex­ual ha­rass­ment— Gad­kari per­haps was not ex­pect­ing his words to be taken lit­er­ally. But he ended up pro­vid­ing am­mu­ni­tion to crit­ics of PM Naren­dra Modi’s gov­ern­ment. Congress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi was quick to tweet about the video, calling it an ad­mis­sion of the gov­ern­ment’s pen­chant for jum­las. In Au­gust, Gad­kari had em­bar­rassed the gov­ern­ment by claim­ing reser­va­tions would not make a dif­fer­ence be­cause there were no jobs. Soon, though, the Union min­is­ter was putting out de­nials. “False,” he said, say­ing the ref­er­ence was ac­tu­ally to the 2014 Ma­ha­rash­tra as­sem­bly polls and not the gen­eral elec­tions.

RAJWANT RAWAT

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