Rane visits Gadkari home, BJP president calls him param mitra
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Industries Minister Narayan Rane's visit Tuesday to the residence of Nitin Gadkari for breakfast, the leaders sharing dais at a function to inaugurate a housing scheme, and the BJP president calling the Congress minister param mitra (close friend) have raised many an eyebrow.
Coming at a time when Congress-led government at Centre has initiated an inquiry into alleged graft in Purti Group of Industries promoted by Gadkari, a senior Congress minister's "friendly" visit to Gadkari Wada is being read by many as more than an ordinary event.
The leaders, who were cabinet colleagues in the Sena-BJP government, were at the function to inaugurate a housing scheme for employees of India Rama company in Butibori Industrial Estate near here. The scheme promoted by a housing society floated by the company's employees has been "helped" by Gadkari to organise a few things, including getting concessional loan from housing co-operative Vidarbha Premier Ltd.
"It has been built at Rs 400 per sq ft, which could be among the cheapest," Gadkari said.
At the function, the two leaders praised each other with Gadkari calling Rane param mitra and Rane lauding Gadkari's efforts for Vidarbha causes. Gadkari said, "The over-400 workers would never have been able to dream of a house of their own given the growing land and construction costs. I had requested Rane to make land available for the housing scheme, which he immediately granted."
Rane allotted 20 acres of MIDC land for the scheme at Rs 15 per sq ft with the provision of reserving 20 per cent for housing schemes for those working in units in MIDC areas.
Rane was escorted to the venue by senior BJP leaders.
BJP MLA Sudhakar Deshmukh said, "Gadkari only wanted to thank Rane for all the help rendered to make the scheme happen. Nothing more should be read into the meeting."
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