The BJP leader denied any wrongdoing by the Purti Group or by him in financial dealings
The Rajya Sabha was repeatedly disrupted on Monday as opposition demanded union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari's resignation over alleged corruption.
The BJP leader denied any wrongdoing by the Purti Group or by him in financial dealings.
The upper house saw at least eight adjournments before being adjourned for the day around 4 p.m.
Before the last adjournment, the agitated opposition members refused to allow Leader of House Arun Jaitley to make a statement on the issue.
Amid slogans demanding Gadkari's resignation, the minister said the report was "deliberately being misinterpreted for political reasons".
"There is no scam or irregularity... Purti has repaid all loans. There are no allegations against me," Gadkari said amid sloganeering by Congress members.
Gadkari's reaction came after the Congress demanded his resignation over a Comptroller and Auditor General report that has named him as one of the "promoters and/or directors" of Purti Sakhar Karkhana Ltd. that was sanctioned a loan of Rs.84.12 crore by the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) in violation of guidelines.
"My respectful submission before this august house is that let us follow the established procedure in the matter of CAG reports and if any wrongdoing is established by the PAC (parliamentary affairs committee), which will be discussing the CAG report in due course of time, the law should take its own course," Gadkari said.
"The CAG has nowhere named me as a wrongdoer nor there is any adverse comment against me. There is neither any indictment nor any charge of corruption or misappropriation against me of the PSKL (Purti Sakhar Karkhana Ltd.)," he said.
As Gadkari finished his statement, the Congress members kept protesting, forcing Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien to adjourn the house for 10 minutes.
When the house met again, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said they were not satisfied with the minister's response. Azad said the loan was taken for a different purpose but was used for generating thermal power.
"You are getting a loan for a project and you are using it for something else. Whether it was returned or not is a different issue," said Azad. After this, Congress members once again started raising slogans demanding Gadkari's resignation.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: "We are not making him resign to satisfy you... There is no allegation of corruption."
Amid the din, Kurien adjourned the house again till 12 p.m.
The question hour saw similar scenes, and after two brief adjournments of 15 minutes each, Chairman M. Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 1 p.m.
At 1 p.m. the house passed an amended version of Land Boundary Agreement bill, before adjourning for lunch.
However, when the house reassembled at 2 p.m., Congress members were once again on their foot. The house was adjourned till 2.30 p.m., then till 3.00 p.m. and after that till 4 p.m..
At 4 p.m., Leader of the House Arun Jaitley tried to make a statement on the issue. However, he was not allowed to speak by shouting opposition members.
"What they are saying has no basis," Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said.
As the protests continued, the house was adjourned for the day.