24 November, 2020

Nitin Gadkari, 57

Rural development minister 4/10; Succeeded by Chaudhary Birendra Singh in November

Nitin Gadkari, 57

For a ministry that gets a lion’s share of budgetary allocations—a massive Rs 80,000 crore—there has been little activity in the last seven months, although it has seen three ministers. That’s disturbing, given that MRD enforces the cream of the social development schemes, including the UPA’s pet project NREGA. But “outsider” Gadkari, who replaced his statemate Gopinath Munde following his demise, before being shunted to the surface transport ministry, has been barely away from the news, but for the wrong reasons. First, newspaper reports surfaced of his home being “bugged” (denied), then reports of his throwing his hat into the Maharashtra chief ministerial ring (again denied), then pictures of his riding a scooter helmetless (confirmed).

On the BJP’s antipathy towards “doles”, the Man from Nagpur was on the money. Even as Modi was paving the way for his ouster ahead of the November revamp, word leaked out that the minister was looking at limiting NREGA to a certain number of districts and also...



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