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A brief biography
As in 2019, May
Born: May 27, 1957
Experience: 1 Lok Sabha Term
The feisty leader recently cemented his electoral muscle in Nagpur, which is home to the R S S headquarters, with a second Lok Sabha win.
Gadkari earned his spurs as PWD minister in Maharashtra by delivering the Mumbai-Pune expressway and 55 flyovers in Mumbai, earning him sobriquets like ‘bridge bhushan’ and ‘flyover man’.
However, Gadkari’s straight-shooting often gives rise to controversies. Last year, he said the government would not give the Navy an inch of land for housing in South Mumbai. Or even more embarrassing, he said it was wrong to call fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya a thief after one loan default. In the last few months, he made several cryptic comments that were seen as barbs at the leadership.
All that seems water under the bridge now, and the R S S favourite is once again in the driver’s seat. After all, not only does he have a strong record as union minister for road transport and shipping, he has also been BJP’s trouble shooter in Goa, sorting out the political chaos that ensued after the death of Manohar Parrikar. This wasn’t the first time Gadkari was asked to pitch in. In 2017, when BJP failed to get a majority in the Goa Assembly polls, Gadkari had flown to the state to help the party cobble up an alliance with smaller partners, after which a government was formed under Parrikar’s leadership.