For a few days now, the Scania bus controversy has been making the rounds on social media and news platforms. More recently, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari became embroiled in the discussion after Swedish media houses insinuated that the lawmaker had been linked to a deal involving the company.
Scania AB is a major Swedish manufacturer that makes commercial vehicles, diesel engines for heavy vehicles, marine applications and more. The company which also operates in India is now facing scrutiny for alleged misconduct by employees.
According to reports, an internal investigation into Scania's Indian operations had found evidence of the same, soon after Swedish media outlets broke the news. Multiple platforms including Swedish national public television broadcaster, SVT had alleged that Scania paid bribes to win bus contracts in seven Indian states between 2013 and 2016.
Another SVT report contends that the manufacturer delivered a specially equipped bus to a company with links to the Minister. The article alleges that a "a repainted Metrolink HD with dark red leather seats" was sent via a dealer and was intended for use during Gadkari's daughter's wedding in the coming weeks. The report claims that it was a "gift".
Gadkari for his part has denied the allegations, reportedly stating that he was in the process of sending a legal notice to the organisations in question. Calling it a "clear case of defamation" he also denied reports of being gifted the luxury bus.
A statement from Gadkari's office said that the allegations that the bus was not paid for and was used for the wedding of Gadkari's daughter are "nothing but a figment of the media's imagination".
While there has been no official statement from Scania India, a Reuters report quoted a Scania spokesman as saying that the company had not sold a bus to Gadkari. They did not elaborate on the allegations.
With the company now admitting to "misconduct" in India, it is unclear what the next steps will be. Scania however says that all individuals involved in this misconduct have now left the company.