Some people in the BJP need to speak less, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said here Wednesday. Politicians in general need to be more economical while speaking to media, the senior BJP leader said during an interaction at the Republic Summit. Asked what prompted the BJP to hold as many as 70 press conferences in a day on the Rafale jet purchase issue, Gadkari said, “We have so many leaders, and we so like to speak before the (TV journalist’s) boom, so we have to give them some work.”
Gadkari recalled a scene from Bollywood film “Bombay to Goa” (1972) where parents of a child who is a voracious eater cover his mouth with a piece of cloth to stop him from eating. “There is a need for such a cloth (to be put on the mouth) for some people in our (party),” the BJP leader said. Asked if people who needed such a “gag order” included those who talked about the caste of Hanuman or Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s gotra, Gadkari said he was “joking”.
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Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said at a poll rally that Hanuman was a Dalit, while UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey had mocked Rahul Gandhi’s Italian lineage and said his gotra was “Gotra Itlus”. “See, I was joking,” Gadkari told the interviewer. Gadkari said neither he nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi give sound bytes to media after an event. “Politicians should have little less interaction with the media and this (policy) is required (to be followed) a little bit more in the BJP,” said the Union minister, known for his candour.
Referring to the Congress’ demand that the Rafale purchase be probed by a Joint Parliamentary Committee, Gadkari asked if the JPC is bigger than the Supreme Court. Most of the charges the Congress levelled “had no relevance” and it is better not to reply to them, the minister added.