New Delhi: BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Saturday denied allegations that Purti Group, a cooperative society with which he was associated, had fictious shareholders and that a company close to him had unduly benefitted when he was the PWD Minister in Maharashtra.
"In any company there are many shareholders. We have to raise the capital.... There are 10,000 shareholders. Some of them are industrialists, traders, businessmen, NRIs. Anybody can be a shareholder," Gadkari said.
He was responding to allegations that 18 companies which own 80 per cent of the shares in Purti Group were not located on the addresses mentioned on the website of the Group.
Activist Arvind Kejriwal had targeted Gadkari accusing him of being involved in murky financial dealings.
On the charge that he had unduly benefitted a road building company owned by "friend", Gadkari refuted the allegation of any quid pro quo.
Asked if the addresses were fictitious, Gadkari said there is a possibility that the addresses may have changed.
"A lot of staekholders have changed their addresses. There are 10,000 stakeholders," the BJP President said adding that he cannot be expected to have ready details but expressed confidence that he could furnish addresses of all of them.
The BJP chief maintained that Income Tax department has scrutinised his accounts. He also clarified that soon after becoming the BJP President he had resigned from Purti Group and disagreed with the suggestion that there was a conflict of interest in his being a leading politician and a businessman.
Gadkari also refuted Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh`s allegation that he has been collecting money and channelising his ill-gotten wealth through shell companies.
"I am ready for any inquiry...Digvijay Singh has been making charges for a long time...First of all these companies do not belong to Purti Group (they only bought shares)," he said.
Gadkari defended his association with a contractors and businessmen saying " I can accept equity from anyone. There is nothing wrong...Many contractors are my friends".