Further trouble is in store for the Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari, whose companies are under scanner for alleged financial and managerial irregularities, as the Registrar of Companies in its preliminary report has found serious discrepancies in the documents submitted by at least one of the 18 firms in which he has stakes.
According to informed sources, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has given the green signal to the Registrar of Companies to serve notice on the BJP chief’s Purti Power and Sugar Limited (PPSL) under Section 234(1) of the Companies Act, 1956 seeking an explanation within the next two weeks.
Gadkari's travails are more from within party
Ironically Mr. Gadkari,s travails are more from within the party than outside. Several senior BJP leaders concede in off-the-record conversations that the ‘campaign’ against Mr. Gadkari is linked to power struggle within the party.
However, none of the leaders are willing to identify the leaders working against the party president for fear of incurring their wrath. The consensus within the BJP is that the fate of Mr. Gadkari now is entirely in the hands of the RSS which had promoted his candidature as the party chief.
Indications are that there are concerns within the Sangh and the party on the adverse impact of allegations against Mr. Gadkari on the image of the BJP which is fighting against the Congress on the plank of corruption.
However, at the same time given the number of prime ministerial aspirants within the BJP, it would not be easy task for the RSS to take a call on Mr. Gadkari.
It is against this backdrop that the preliminary report of the Registrar of the Companies is significant. According to sources the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has given a green signal to the Registrar of Companies to serve a notice to the BJP chief’s company Purti Power and Sugar Limited (PPSL) under Section 234(1) in The Companies Act, 1956, seeking an explanation within the next two weeks.
The direction by the Ministry gives enough ammunition to Mr. Gadkari’s detractors within the party, who are determined to ensure that he does not get a second term. Since the anti-corruption activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal targeted Mr. Gadkari, it is clear that some senior leaders within the BJP have been plotting for his ouster.
Mr. Gadkari’s stint as the party chief would end in December and after the recent amendment to the party constitution, allowing a second term to the incumbent president, it was taken that Mr. Gadkari would get another term. However, the turn of events has put a question mark on second term chances of Mr. Gadkari.
So far the senior BJP leader L.K. Advani and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj have defended Mr. Gadkari. But other party leaders like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi have maintained a steadied silence.