Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said his ‘Rich nation, poor people’ speech in Nagpur was flashed in such a manner by a prominent news agency that it was completely taken out of context and used by some members of opposition parties to “derive joy out of it”.
Gadkari, who delivered an address at a programme organised by the RSS-inspired Bharat Vikas Parishad earlier in the day, took to Twitter to issue a clarification regarding his speech. He said he was “pained” that his statement, with reference to news agency PTI’s tweet, about problems concerning India and the society at large had been “flashed out of context”. He also tagged TMC MP Derek O’Brien saying some “unscrupulous elements” and opposition were “deriving joy out of it”.
“I am pained to know and see that my statement with reference to PTI’s tweet about the problems concerning our society and the nation has been flashed out of context and some unscrupulous elements and opposition are deriving joy out of it,” Gadkari said in his first tweet in a thread.
I am pained to know and see that my statement with reference to PTI’s tweet about the problems concerning our society and the nation has been flashed out of context and some unscrupulous elements and opposition are deriving joy out of it. @derekobrienmp pic.twitter.com/4ObXQD0T4J
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) September 29, 2022
The PTI had earlier flashed a part of Gadkari’s speech in which the minister was quoted as saying, “‘We are fastest-growing economy in world and 5th largest economy. We are rich nation with poor population. Our country is rich, but population poor facing starvation, unemployment, poverty, inflation, casteism, untouchability and other isuses: Union minister Nitin Gadkari’.”
O’Brien then retweeted the PTI flash saying all in “Team Opposition” may want to retweet this “boom” statement by the union minister. He not only tagged TMC’s official Twitter handles, but also those belonging to Samajwadi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Shiv Sena, NCP, Aam Aadmi Party among others.
All in TEAM OPPOSITION may want to ReTweet this BOOM statement from @nitin_gadkari 👇@AITCofficial @INCIndia@arivalayam @trspartyonline@samajwadiparty @RJDforIndia @ShivSena @Jduonline @NCPspeaks@AamAadmiParty @cpimspeak @JaiTDP @cpofindia @RLDparty @YSRCParty @JKNC_ @jkpdp https://t.co/tUMf0Bemya
— Derek O’Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) September 29, 2022
Gadkari clarified that his speech, ‘We are a rich nation with poor people’, was a reference to the problems facing India and should have been considered in a positive context. He said a part of it should not have been clipped and used to create “misunderstanding”. He further said all must understand the “real intention behind those references” and that social ills were obstacles that must be considered when talking about development.
He also said there was nothing wrong with what he had said, and that his entire speech conveyed a sentiment that India has to overcome social problems to progress at a faster pace. The minister also shared a link of his complete speech at the programme.
Earlier during his speech, Gadkari said even as India had emerged as the world’s fifth largest economy and, although the country was rich, its population was poor, facing issues like starvation, unemployment, casteism, untouchability and inflation. The gap between the rich and the poor had widened, which needed to be bridged, he said.
“We are the fastest-growing economy in the world and are the fifth largest economy. We are a rich nation with a poor population. Our country is rich, but the population is poor facing starvation, unemployment, poverty, inflation, casteism, untouchability and other factors that are not good for the progress of the society,” he said.
He added: “There is a need to establish social and economic equality in the society. The gap between these two sections of the society has widened. Economic disparity has also increased like social disparity.”
Gadkari said India needed to work in the fields of education, health and services to bridge the rich-poor gap. “The purpose of the Bharat Vikas Parishad is very clear, but the biggest challenge before us is how to work in various sectors with social responsibility and social consciousness to bring about a change in society. However, we are still very far from our objective and need to speed up our efforts to achieve it,” he said.
With inputs from News18, PTI