Congress Party General Secretary Digvijaya Singh accused Road transport and Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari of indulging in corruption while allocating contract for building the Rs 10,050 crore Zoji La Pass tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack the minister.
“Union minister Gadkari has given the Rs 10,000-crore tunnel building contract to IRB Infra, whose boss has business dealings with him,” said Congress veteran, who approached the CVC with evidence to probe charges against the minister.
“We urge PM Modi to see the documentary evidence for himself and sack Gadkari,” Singh said while adding that he would soon write to him on the issue.
According to the senior Congress leader, IRB Infra, contracted to build the sensitive Zoji La Pass tunnel, has limited experience in high-altitude projects. He further said Nikhil, the son of the minister, was a director and shareholder in a subsidiary of IRB Infra till 2011.
The contract violates CVC guidelines on procedures, said Singh adding when Gadkari was the PWD minister in Maharashtra from 1995 to 1999, all contracts were awarded to IRB.
Singh also cited a report in the Forbes magazine in 2012 to allege that there was a nexus between the IRB and Gadkari. According to the report, the owner of IRB D Mahaskar had lent money to Gadkari when he was the BJP chief and curried favours from him. He further said IRB had invested in Gadkari’s Purti group.
Earlier, in 2012, the Congress targeted Gadkari over Purti issue. The charges cost him a second term as party president.