‘I won't get that kind of courage..’ Nitin Gadkari praises senior Congress leadertext_fields
Pune: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday congratulated Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on his annual pilgrimage to the temple town of Pandharpur in Maharashtra.
Gadkari shared dais with the senior Congress leader for a book release function near Pune city.
Singh visits Pandharpur, which houses the famous temple of Lord Vitthal and Goddess Rukmini in Solapur district, every year to offer prayers to the deity on Ashadi Ekadashi when the palanquins carrying sacred footprints of Sant Tuakram and Sant Dnyaneshwar reach the town along with lakhs of 'warkaris' (devotees).
Gadkari and Singh on Thursday came together to release a book on late Congress leader Ramkrishna More at Pimpri Chinchwad near Pune.
During his speech, Nitin Gadkari praised Digvijaya Singh for his annual pilgrimage to Pandharpur on Ashadi Ekadashi, which was celebrated on Thursday.
"I won't get that kind of courage (to walk) although I am younger than you. But you walk so much (during the pilgrimage)...I congratulate you and thank you," the Minister of Road Transport and Highways said.
Mr Singh responded by saying that Mr Gadkari should also give it a try so that he starts taking part in it regularly.
Notably, Mr Gadkari had in 2018 withdrawn a case of defamation against Digvijaya Singh after the latter expressed regret over his statement. A joint petition for withdrawal of the case was filed in Delhi's Patiala House court.
Nitin Gadkari had filed the defamation case against Mr Singh in 2012 for allegedly dragging his name into alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks.
The BJP leader had then accused the former Madhya Pradesh chief minister of trying to divert people's attention from a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on coal blocks allocation by making allegations that a business partner of Mr Gadkari gained a profit of ₹ 490 crore from coal mines in Chhattisgarh.
Speaking at the event further, Mr Gadkari also lauded the political culture of Maharashtra and said that although there were different parties in the state, there was no bitterness among them.
"There can be differences of opinion, but there should be no 'manbhinnata' (differences in relationship) and Maharashtra is a fine example of it," he said.
The minister said the government was developing the Palkhi Marg (palanquin route) at a cost of ₹ 12,000 crore.
He said he has asked the engineers to lay grass along the route so that warkaris can walk on it instead of going barefoot on a hot road.
PTI with superficial edits