On August 25, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari issued a statement warning mainstream media, social media, and some persons in particular not to publish his statements out-of-context. In a series of tweets, the union minister pointed out that there have been continuous efforts to run a nefarious and fabricated campaign against him.
He added that though he does not get affected, if such attempts continue, he would take legal action in the “larger interest of our Government, Party and millions of our hardworking Karyakartas.”
He said, “Today, once again, efforts were being made to continue the nefarious & fabricated campaign against me for political mileage on my behest by some section of mainstream media, social media and some persons in particular by concocting my statements at public programs without context or correct reference.”
…at public programmes without context or correct reference.— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) August 25, 2022
Although, I’ve never been disturbed by such malicious agendas of fringe elements but all concerned are hereby warned that If such mischief continue,…
He added, “Although I’ve never been disturbed by such malicious agendas of fringe elements, all concerned are hereby warned that If such mischief continues, I will not hesitate to take them to the law in the larger interest of our Government, Party, and millions of our hardworking Karyakartas. Therefore, I’m sharing the link to what I actually said.
…I will not hesitate to take them to the law in the larger interest of our Government, Party and millions of our hardworking Karyakartas.— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) August 25, 2022
Therefore, I’m sharing the link of what I had actually said.👇https://t.co/jk7eR4056r
The reaction from the union minister came after an edited video of his was made public by several media houses, netizens, and leaders, including Aam Aadmi Party’s Sanjay Singh, published a video with a caption asserting that Gadkari might be leaving Bharatiya Janata Party. The edited video started with Gadkari saying, “It does not matter what happens. Even if I lose my post, it will not matter. I am not a political person.” For the rest of the video, he talked about his humble middle-class background.
आख़िर ऐसा क्यों बोले नितिन गडकरी जी?— Sanjay Singh AAP (@SanjayAzadSln) August 25, 2022
BJP बहुत बड़ी गड़बड़ चल रही है। pic.twitter.com/woHE4mhNcn
On examining the video shared by Union Minister Gadkari, OpIndia found that the edited video does not even contain the statement in continuity. It was stitched from two different parts of the video, and the context of what the minister said has nothing to do with his association with the party, but it is about the work he has been doing and his department.
The minister shared a video comparison to show how his statement was presented in a misleading way.
कुछ मीडिया संस्थानों और व्यक्तियों द्वारा चलाये जा रहे झूठे अभियान की सच्चाई। pic.twitter.com/O7v3MikOYP— Office Of Nitin Gadkari (@OfficeOfNG) August 25, 2022
Gadkari was speaking at the launch of the book ‘Naukarsyahi Ke Rang’ written by Dr Dnyaneshwar M Mulay. While sharing his experience as the minister in Maharashtra during the 90s, he said, “I remember around 2,500 children had died of malnutrition. It made headlines across the world. Then-CM Manohar Joshi said to me things cannot work like that. So many villages have no access to roads.”
The area fell under the forest region. There were a lot of obstacles in getting the work done and building roads to connect the villages to cities. Due to a lack of infrastructure, government aid could not reach the villages. The farmers were unable to bring their produce to the market, and there was no road for the children to go to school.
Gadkari said he took responsibility for ensuring 450 villages got the required road infrastructure. He told the ministers and officials, “I will do this work. If you want, you can stand with me, or else we will see what happens. I do not care if I lose my post.” This statement is at the 9:27 timestamp in the video.
Further, during his speech, he talked about how experience teaches a lot in life. He said, “I often say, I am a common man. I am one of those who love eating on the footpath, watching films in third class, and watching plays from backstage.” The statement was used in the video and had nothing to with Gadkari’s association with BJP, but he was talking in general about experiences in life. This statement is at the 19:10 timestamp in the video.
It is clear that the video being circulated with misleading caption has been extensively edited, and the statements were taken out of context to make it look like an anti-BJP statement by the minister. The claims made by AAP leader Sanjay Singh and others that Nitin Gadkari might leave BJP are false.
OpIndia tried reaching out to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari but could not connect.