Union Minister Nitin Gadkari's office on Thursday said the minister will send legal notices to two Swedish media houses, including public broadcaster SVT, for alleging that he and his family members are linked to a deal involving luxury bus and truck manufacturer Scania, reported The Print.
An official in Gakari’s office told The Print: "It’s a clear case of defamation. We are drafting the legal notice, and we will send it to the two media houses tomorrow.”
Gadkari also rejected media reports about him being gifted a luxury bus by a Swedish bus manufacturer.
"The media allegations that, in November 2016, Scania delivered a luxury bus to a company that had close ties with Gadkari's sons are malicious, fabricated and baseless," read a statement by Gadkari's office.
The statement said 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".
According to the statement, media reports that the bus was financed by a Volkswagen finance company, but Scania stepped in to pay for the part that the above-mentioned company did not, itself "contradicts" that the bus was a gift to the Union Minister.
"Since the entire episode involving the Scania bus was an internal affair of the Swedish company, the statement of Scania spokesperson has made it clear that Shri Gadkari and his family members have absolutely nothing to do with the purchase or sale of any Scania bus. Nor do they have anything to do with any firm or individual who might be linked with the purchase of the bus," Gadkari's office said in a statement.
The statement added that the Union Minister was a "pioneer" in introducing Scania's Ethanolrun bus in Nagpur as part of his drive to bring in green public transport in the country, and that he encouraged the "Nagpur Municipal Corporation to initiate a pilot project and the Nagpur civic body signed a commercial memorandum of understanding with the Swedish company" and accordingly, Scania's Ethanol-operated buses started plying in Nagpur.
"It was purely a commercial arrangement between the Nagpur civic body and the Swedish bus manufacturers and Gadkari and his family had nothing to do with it. The attempts by a section of the media to drag the name of Nitin Gadkari and his family, therefore, are very unfortunate and part of a sinister and malicious campaign to malign Gadkari and tarnish his unblemished reputation as a person of impeccable integrity," the statement added.
(With inputs from Agencies)