- Benami investments in his Purti group cost him a second term as BJP president
- There was much controversy over the mysterious death of a young girl in a car owned by him at his Nagpur residence
- His announcement on the lifting of a ban on e-rickshaws was, it’s alleged, meant to favour a company linked to his family
- Media reports say the Union transport minister’s Delhi residence was bugged and listening devices were found there
- An ethanol-fuelled bus donated by a Swedish company was found parked at a sugar factory owned by the minister
- Is being held responsible for reducing the wage component in schemes under NREGA, affecting five crore rural households
- The me-too moment—39 MLAs plugging him for Maharashtra CM’s post (see pix)
Even close friends of Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari are hard put to defend his scooter ride without a helmet in Nagpur. The ride was of course meant as a photo op, so perhaps the helmet would have defeated the effort. But the photograph went viral, inviting criticism and sarcasm. “This no-helmet ride has really been the worst hit so far for Nitinji. He needs to understand that as a public figure, especially as transport minister, he can’t flout rules and regulations. It’s not just about bad press but simply a bad idea, poor planning at his end,” admitted an old friend of his.
Now, Gadkari has been dogged by controversies, but insiders say he’s never been an embarrassment to the party or the government. Till now. The scooter ride followed close on the heels of an unusual show of muscle at his Nagpur home when on October 21, 39 of the 44 elected MLAs from Vidarbha region...