Nagpur: Now that Nitin Gadkari has proved his mettle as an able leader yet again by winning his constituency back, thoughts are bound to be given on what led him to such a humongous win. Well as a Union Transport Minister in his last regime, Gadkari was certainly a man on mission. He claimed that under his supervision, the speed of highway building increased. He is also credited for scrapping hundreds of obsolete traffic laws. Many political observers believe he is one of the high performing ministers of the Modi government.
Before getting prominence in national politics, Gadkari’s 3-year stint as Maharashtra’s Public Works Department Minister had built his ‘development man’ image. The state saw many mega infrastructural projects take shape, including the famed Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
His big national break was when he succeeded BJP stalwart Rajnath Singh as party chief. When he took charge, the BJP was a beaten unit as the Congress-led UPA had dealt another national election drubbing to the party. When he exited the post in 2013, the BJP was on the verge of a comeback. A year later, the party returned to power, winning a huge mandate on what was perceived as a Narendra Modi wave.
Many observers credit Gadkari for starting the pro-development narrative that helped the party form a majority government for the first time in decades.
Gadkari is considered very close to the RSS leadership. He is known for articulating his views freely, often to the embarrassment of his party. Last year, his comment on unemployment raised eyebrows. “Let’s us assume the reservation is given. But there are no jobs. Because in banks, the jobs have shrunk because of IT. The government recruitment is frozen. Where are the jobs?” he had said, giving an opportunity to the opposition to renew its attacks on the government.
To speculation that he was the RSS pick for the prime ministerial post, he clarified: “I do not dream, neither do I go to anyone nor do any lobbying. I am not in this race… I my telling you from my heart.”