Gadkari said while he was in politics since 1975, he never changed parties despite several failures.
Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari has termed leaders resigning from other parties to shift to parties which are in power as “rats jumping out of sinking ship”. Speaking at an event in Nagpur, the former BJP president said that those in politics must not compromise with their ideology and principles. Speaking about the time when he became the party president, Gadkari said soon after being elevated to the post, he went to meet CPI leader AB Bardhan, for whom he had the deepest respect even though both belonged to different parties that were ideologically apart. Even though the meeting raised eyebrows, Bardhan stood to his principles throughout his life, the minister added.
Pointing out that politics is for social work and not for power, Gadkari cited the example of Mahatma Gandhi, saying he was in politics to serve the people and not for power. The minister further said that power is something that eludes those who run after it. Giving his own example, Gadkari said while he was in politics since 1975, he never changed parties despite several failures.
“The problem today is not of difference in thinking, but of thoughtlessness… Today people flock to the winning party, like rats who jump places when the ship starts sinking,” the Indian Express quoted him as saying, a clear reference to the long list of leaders from Opposition parties who have joined the BJP after its victory in the 2014 general elections.
Gadkari, a Member of Parliament from Maharashtra’s Nagpur, currently serves as the Minister of Road Transport and Highways. It is under his watch that the amended Motor Vehicles Act has been implemented, placing stringent fines on traffic violations. Gadkari is known as one of the most outspoken ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet and is not one to shy away from taking on his contemporaries. He has previously served in various capacities at the Centre as well as the Maharashtra government besides being the BJP president from 2009 to 2013.