A video from a speech by Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari where he is heard saying that he does not care if he losses his ministerial position, is being shared with a misleading claim that he made the statement in the context of him being dropped recently from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s decision making parliamentary board.
BOOM found that the viral video has been taken from a recent speech by Gadkari in which he was actually referring to an instance when he was the Public Works Department (PWD) Minister in the Shiv Sena - BJP led Maharashtra government in 1996. Gadkari had referred to a conversation he had with forest officials in 1996 over the lack of road connectivity in Melghat, Maharashtra due to road construction being prohibited under forest protection laws, when he had remarked that he did not care if he lost his ministerial post in the interest of working for the poor to build roads in the area.
Speculation has been rife in political circles over Gadkari being dropped from the BJP parliamentary board recently with several political commentators seeing this as a sign that the senior leader is being sidelined in the party.
The 39 seconds video was tweeted by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh with the caption when translated reads, "Why did Nitin Gadkari say this after all? BJP is running a big mess." The caption in the video when translated reads, "My ministry post goes, then it goes, I don't care". Gadkari is leaving the BJP?"
The same video was earlier in the day tweeted by Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe with the caption when translated reads, "What is Gadkari doing?"
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BOOM found that the viral video showing parts of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari's speech is being shared out of context.
A longer version of the video shows that Gadkari is referring to an instance in 1996 when he was the PWD Minister in the Shiv Sena - BJP led government under former Maharashtra Chief Minister Manohar Joshi. Gadkari while taking to a state forest official, tells him to that he would handle the construction of roads in 450 villages of Melghat, Amravati, and that he does not care if he looses his ministerial position in the process as he is working the interest of working for the poor.
We checked the original speech which is around 27 minutes long, given by Gadkari while launching the book 'Naukarsyahi Ke Rang' written by Dr. Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay on August 23, 2022. The speech was live streamed on Gadkari's official YouTube channel and from his Twitter account.
While sharing anecdotes during his tenure as the PWD Minister in Maharashtra, Gadkari refers to an incident in Melghat in Amravati district, Maharashtra when children had died due to malnutrition. Melghat tiger reserve which spans over 1500 sq km was India's first nine tiger reserve notified in 1973-74.
From 7.30 minutes timestamp, Gadkari can be heard saying, "I was a minister in the Maharashtra government in 1996, and there was an incident where 2500 children died due to malnutrition in Melghat, Amravati district, Maharashtra. Our Chief Minister Manohar Joshi used to say, Nitin, what is this situation, Melghat has around 450 villages and not a single road in these villages. I was the PWD minister and during meetings, the forest and chief conservation officer used to come and around four to five times I heard the CM used to tell them, once I heard him (Joshi) saying, "don't you feel anything, 2500 children died of malnutrition,... there is no electrical line, you'll stop all the work under forest conservation, don't you feel anything," and the officer told him (Joshi), "I'm sorry and that he can't do anything"."
Gadkari then adds at the 9.17 minutes timestamp saying, "Then I felt bad told him, Sir, this work you won't be able to handle, I'm very good at handling this work, do one thing leave this one. I don't have any worry about the consequence and I will do this work. If possible stand behind me otherwise leave it, If my ministerial post goes it goes."
The statement above can be heard at the beginning of the viral video which has been cut out and shared while making the misleading claim. Gadkari then adds then he as the PWD minister passed a directive stating that there the construction of roads in around 450 villages in Melghat should start and wrote that if after that according to the act (Forest act), if any responsibility has to be pinned in future, he would be responsible as the minister.
This statement has also been edited out in the viral video which gives context that Gadkari was referring to the construction of roads in Melghat and not commenting in general that he does not care if he loses his ministerial post.
Gadkari's full speech can be heard below.
Additionally, Gadkari also tweeted a tweet thread on the viral video dismissing the claims and stating that a 'fabricated campaign' is being run against him
Another recent speech by Gadkari at NATCON 2022, organized by the Association of Consulting Civil Engineers, Mumbai also made it to the headline when a statement Gadkari made during the speech about the "Government not taking decisions in time" was widely reported. However, according to BJP leaders, Gadkari's words were not for any specific government, but governments in general reported NDTV on August 24, 2022.
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