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After Claiming He Was Misquoted on Leadership Jibe, Gadkari Says Party Chief 'Responsible' for Poll Defeat

The remarks gain significance in the backdrop of the Bharatiya Janata Party's loss in the recently concluded assembly elections.

Arunima | CNN-News18Arunima24

Updated:December 25, 2018, 1:01 PM IST
New Delhi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said the 'responsibility' of political defeats lay at the doors of the party chief, just two days after he kicked off a row with his remark that “leadership should own up to defeat and failures”.

Speaking at the annual IB endowment lecture, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways said, “If I am the party president, and my MPs and MLAs are not doing well, then who is responsible? I am.”

The remarks gain significance in the backdrop of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s loss in the recently concluded assembly elections. Last week, Gadkari had said, “Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan, as when there is success, there will be a race to take credit but in case of failure, everybody will start pointing fingers at each other.”

The comments were interpreted as a direct attack on the Modi-Shah leadership though the minister later clarified that he was referring to leadership in the banking industry. He also took to Twitter to say, "In the last few days, I have noticed a sinister campaign by some opposition parties and a section of the media to twist my statements and use them out of context and draw politically motivated inferences to malign my party and me."

Addressing the IB officers, Gadkari said it was important to be polite in daily dealings and value human relationships. "You can't win elections only because you speak well. You might be a ‘vidwan’, but people may not vote for you,” Gadkari said. “One who thinks he knows it all is mistaken. There is a difference between confidence and ego. You should be confident but keep ego away," he added.

Gadkari’s speech, however, did not touch upon the subject of internal security and intelligence gathering. He began his address by telling the gathered officers that he was not equipped to tell them about internal security or how they must carry out their job of intelligence gathering. He suggested that IB move towards performance audit from financial audit, while emphasising on the need for innovation and better use of technology.

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