"The company is for farmers and the allegations against Gadkari are meaningless, baseless and hopeless"

All the seven founder promoters of Purti Power and Sugar Limited, the company founded and run by BJP president Nitin Gadkari and his associates are somehow or the other related to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

Mr. Gadkari’s RSS connections are well known but all the other promoters and some directors of the Purti Power and Sugar Limited have strong RSS background.

Jaykumar Verma, Deputy Chairman and the whole time director of the Purti Power and Sugar Limited is also one of the founder promoters of the company. Currently a BJP Zilla Parishad member, Jaykumar Verma used to take part in the RSS shakhas in Bela village near which the Purti Power and Sugar Limited is situated. On every Vijayadashami, he used to take out the RSS processions in Bela village and he would be in full RSS uniform, according to the villagers.

“Yes, I am a Sangh Swayamsevak” Mr. Verma told The Hindu.

Another founder promoter Manohar Narhari Mendhjoge alias Annaji is also an RSS member. Mr. Annaji was also the director of Shikshak Sahkari Bank and deputy chairman of Purti Limited before Mr. Verma. He was in jail for 18 months during the Emergency.

Asked if he was associated with the RSS, Mr. Annaji said, “Why do you want to bring the RSS into this? Purti is for ‘kastakar’ [farmers] and the allegations against Nitin [Gadkari] are meaningless, baseless and hopeless.”

Another founding promoter of Purti Limited, Giridhari Mantri, is the brother of Ramesh Mantri who is considered to be very close to the RSS. Mr. Ramesh Mantri even fought elections as a BJP candidate from the Nagpur Lok Sabha constituency in 1999. According to sources, the entire Girdhari family is hardcore RSS. But Girdhari Manti said that he did not hold any post in the RSS or the BJP.

Other founder promoters are Arun Hanumandasji Lakhani, Vithal Jogobaji Raut and Anandrao Motiramji Raut.