All belong to the same family
Kejriwal: In Haryana, Robert Vadra and in Maharashtra, Nitin Gadkari looted land.Everyone is backing the criminals and all the corrupt politicians belong to one party.Some activists in parties work honestly but they are stopped by their own men. I appeal to them to raise voice in their own parties.
Dams catered to Gadkari's industries and not farmers
Prashant Bhushan: The dams were made to feed Gadkari's companies and they also devoured the land of the farmers. Bhushan slammed the politicians for duping the common people.
Why farmers in Maharashtra are committing suicide
Anjali Damania: This is the real picture of farmers' suicide in Vidarbha. Who werethey using the funds for? She produced documents showing Gadkari's appeal to grant him land and it was undersigned by Ajit Pawar. She also showed a photograph of a dam which directly caters to Gadkari's company.
How Gadkari helped his benefactors?
He made arrangements with the ruling party. The 71 power plants that were planned in the region belonged to all parties, ruling as well as opposition.
Gadkari only spoke in favour of the contractors and not farmers
Gadkari never spoke in favour of farmers. He spoke in favour of the contractors in the assembly and even raised the point time and again about why the contractors were not given their payment. He had several industries in the region and he did not want the farmers' welfare but only his own 17 industries, like sugar, power, solar and others. He also granted land to an NGO.
Dams never catered to the farmers' interest
The dam that was built for irrigation never catered to the farmers' interest. The canals were left unused. Ajit Pawar gave all the water to the big companies. All power plants in the area will use up all the water.
Farmers turned away
On Jun 6, 2008, farmers told local authorities that the state should return excess and unused land. On Jun 21, sub divisional engineer told the farmers to evacuate the land for it was given to Gadkari. The farmers met the police. But they were refused to be helped.
Gadkari told Ajit Pawar to give him the unused land on Jun 4
When farmers had approached the government seeking return of his land, the government sat on it for almost two years but when Gadkari wrote a letter seeking transfer of the same land to him, Ajit Pawar (NCP leader) wrote a letter recommending it in four days. Eleven acres of land was given to a company whose name was proposed by Gadkari.
Press conference starts
Kejriwal and other IAC members have assembled before the media to make the big revelations. Anjali Damania and Preeti Sharma are there with Kejriwal. Kejriwal says: "We want to make new revelations in today's press conference. The BJP is the Opposition party in the country. Gadkari served whom? He has a big business interest and owns a huge empire. Does it clash with the Vidarbha farmers? The business of Gadkari is taking place at the expense of those farmers.
Damania is a doctor by profession. She came to know about the scam in Maharashtra. She applied RTI and got proofs that Rs 70,000 crore were spent but the farmers were not getting any benefit. She filed a PIL in Mumbai High Court. On Aug 14, Gadkari came to Mumbai and she went to meet him. She thought that the BJP would raise the issue for it was the opposition in Maharashtra. She met him with all the evidence. But she was shocked to see his reply.
He said Sharad Pawar is a close friend of mine. However, Gadkari later refused this. Damania and Preeti probed for last one month and they made some big revelations. They found out why the farmers were committing suicide? Then what was the government doing?
Arvind Kejriwal reaches the venue.