Shipping and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari bamboozled everyone with his recent remarks. He claimed that he "won't give an inch of land" to the Indian Navy in South Mumbai for staff-quarters. Instead, he asked them to go and patrol the Pakistan border.
He was apparently angry at the Navy for opposing the construction of a floating jetty.
How did the controversy unfold? Read on!
Did Gadkari insult the Navy?
What did Gadkari say?
Gadkari claimed that "Naval officers came to me for staff quarters in South Mumbai." He exulted that he refused these requests point-blank. He warned them not to come to him again with such demands.
He further said, "Navy is needed at the borders where terrorists sneak in. Why does everyone want to stay in South Mumbai?" He conceded that important officials can stay there.
What was Gadkari peeved about?
Apparently, Gadkari was piqued that the Navy had denied permission for constructing a jetty at Nariman Point. A floating hotel and sea-plane service are planned there.
The Bombay HC had asked Rashmi Developers Private Limited (RDPL) to obtain a no-objection certificate from the Navy. They had reportedly raised security concerns.
Gadkari said the Navy had gotten into a habit of blocking developmental projects.
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'Bring infrastructure proposals to me, I will clear them'
Gadkari was speaking on the sidelines of the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the International Cruise Terminal at Ballard Estate, Mumbai. This will expand the existing terminal to hold additional 7L passengers.
Gadkari explained that he was chairing a committee for stalled infrastructure projects. He asked everyone to bring their proposals to him. He promised to clear projects that aim to "develop India."
Congress played up these statements, accused Gadkari of dissing Navy
Congress slammed Gadkari's statements. Chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala tweeted, "Shameful & Unacceptable! Ex BJP President & Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari insults 'Indian Navy', questions their valor and dedication. Pseudo-Nationalist BJP now wants to issue certificates of 'loyalty' to India's armed forces."
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