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'Rare to Find a Happy Politician': Did Gadkari Take Dig at Rajasthan Cong With 'Greed for Power' Taunt?

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari. (File photo: PTI)

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari. (File photo: PTI)

The minister quoted satirist Sharad Joshi to say politicians of no use in the states were sent to Delhi, those of no use in Delhi were made governors while those who couldn’t become governors were made ambassadors.

Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said it was rare to find a happy politician since most of them were insecure about power, in what many see as a jibe at the ruling Congress in Rajasthan. Gadkari, who made the comment in Jaipur in a light vein, did not mention any particular political party or leader but his remark seemed to be aimed at the power tussle in the state between CM Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.

“The MLAs were unhappy as they couldn’t become a minister; ministers were unhappy as they didn’t get a good department; those who got a good department were unhappy as they couldn’t become the chief minister. And the CMs were unhappy as they were not sure how long they will stay in office,’” Gadkari said at the concluding session of a seminar organised by the Rajasthan branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

The minister quoted well-known satirist Sharad Joshi to say politicians of no use in the states were sent to Delhi, those of no use in Delhi were made governors while those who couldn’t become governors were made ambassadors. “When I was the BJP president, I have not found anyone who was not sad. A journalist once asked me how to stay happy, and I replied that those who do not worry about the future remain happy,” he said.

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Gadkari said a Congress leader from Nagpur, who was his good friend, once asked him to jump ship to Congress after Gadkari lost one election when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was not as strong as it is today. “I politely declined, since ups and downs come in life, but you must remain loyal to the ideology,” he said, Hindustan Times reported.

The BJP itself has seen change of guard most recently in Gujarat where Vijay Rupani was succeeded by Bhupendra Patel in a shock change. Earlier, Pushkar Singh Dhami took over as the new Uttarakhand CM after Tirath Singh Rawat resigned citing ‘constitutional constraints’. Rawat himself replaced Trivendra Singh Rawat in March 2021, ten days before the completion of his government’s 4 years.

Similarly, Basavaraj Bommai took over from veteran Yediyurappa in Karnataka after massive opposition from miffed BJP leaders since cabinet expansion in January after rebel JD(S) and Congress MLAs were inducted into it. After Assam poll victory, BJP chose Himanta Biswa Sarma as its pick while incumbent CM Sarbananda Sonowal was inducted into the Union cabinet.

The Congress, meanwhile, is struggling to stem the rebellion in Punjab where Navjot Singh Sidhu and Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh are involved in a war of words. In Rajasthan, there has been a tiff between Pilot and Gehlot, with supporters of both sides trying to pressure the top brass. Chhattisgarh too saw some murmurs of dissent amid a battle of wits between CM Bhupesh Baghel and TS Singh Deo.

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first published:September 14, 2021, 14:36 IST