NITIN GADKARI A Visionary Performer


A Visionary Performer

A visionary with great ideas and an innovative approach, an ableadministrator who believes in attaining results , an iconic leader for theparty workers, a Leader of Opposition who keeps the government on itstoes when in opposition; a performer par excellence as a Minister are thewords that best bring about the profile of Nitin Gadkari.

In other words,here is a leader who has the ability to make democracy, deliver!For him politics was never confined to gaining power. He always looked atit as an instrument for bringing about all round development of the people.He believes that “Seva and Vikas”, (service and development) lead the wayfor better public service, which in turn expands and strengthens the base ofthe party, at the grass root level.

A Swayamsevak of the RSS to the core, for Mr. Gadkari, social justice,harmony and equality are matters of commitment. His skills in socialengineering, withstood the litmus test of electoral politics in the recentMaharashtra assembly elections especially in the Nagpur district.His clear vision and perfect understanding of the needs of the masses, hashelped him to bring effective changes that have benefitted the commonman.

In political as well as the social spheres Mr. Gadkari, has alwaysadopted an all encompassing approach. Antyodaya, (to reach out to thelast person on the social ladder) has always been the focus of hisdevelopment agenda. His willingness to accept suggestions and implementthe viable ones helped Mr. Gadkari to change the face and functioning ofthe Public Works Department (PWD) of Maharashtra Government duringhis very illustrious tenure as its Minister.

A Sincere Party SoldierMr. Gadkari began as a grass root level worker and has successfully ledfrom the front, several agitations and other programmes of the BJP . Hehas worked in different capacities and has held varied positions within theparty, before taking up the post of Maharashtra BJP President in 2004. As atrue party soldier, he has all along accepted whatever responsibility theparty wanted him to shoulder and has carried it out to the best of hisabilities.

After taking over as Maharashtra BJP President in November 2004, Mr.Gadkari visited almost every tehsil and knows countless party workers byname. Due to his dynamism, development-oriented approach andopenness, the BJP has been able to bring various new sections of society inits fold.Early Days of ActivismNitin Gadkari learned his initial lessons in nationalism and patriotism at avery young age. He entered the political arena as a student activist.

Hejoined the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 1976 and took activepart in university elections. In 1979 he became the Secretary of Vidharbharegion. Under his stewardship ABVP won the lections for all positions in theNagpur University Students' Council.

During his tenure he successfullyorganized the 28th National Convention of ABVP.At the age of 24, he was elected as the Nagpur City President of BhartiyaJanata Yuva Morcha (BJYM). In 1985 he became secretary of BJP NagpurCity and he worked relentlessly to strengthen the party organization inurban and rural areas of the district.At the age of 32, Nitin Gadkari successfully contested elections forMaharashtra Legislative Council from Nagpur division GraduatesConstituency, spread over five districts, and became an M.L.C.

He repeatedhis successful performance four consecutive times in 1990, 1996, 2002 and2008. Notably, he was elected unopposed in 2002.Mr. Gadkari's success in the legislative politics runs parallel with hisorganizational achievements in BJP. At the age of 35, he became theGeneral Secretary of BJP in Maharashtra. Under his leadership the partyorganization spread its tentacles all over the state. The party's spectacularvictory in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation in 1992 elections, establishedhis organization prowess beyond doubt. At the age of 38, Mr. Gadkari wasinducted in the Maharashtra Cabinet as the Minister for Public Works.

Highlevel of result orientation and performance marked his ministerial inning.He was Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council at the ageof 42. As a responsible leader of opposition, he took up various importantissues such as farmer’s suicides and made the government listen to. Healso came out with out-of-box suggestions and viable solutions to addressthese issues.In 2004, Mr. Gadkari at the age of 47 became the President of BJPMaharashtra State.

Mark on Governance: Gadkari’s stint as Public Works Minister of Maharashtra (1995-99) madehim world-famous thanks to his resoluteness in swiftly completing megaprojects like the Mumbai-Pune Expressway or the network of 55 flyoverbridges in Mumbai at the costs way below the estimated expenditure.During these four and a half years he left an indelible mark of his style ofgovernance on his department. He played a key role in shaping the PrimeMinister’s Gram Sadak Yojana.

During the NDA rule, the Central PWD wasrevamped as per his suggestions. Mr. Gadkari transformed Nagpur, makingit one of the most beautiful cities of India. His lasting contribution is hiswork for uplifting the poor and the deprived. His thrust area always has remained the economic and social upliftment ofthe have-nots. A case in point is his work for the educated unemployed.When he was Minister, he launched a scheme for qualified unemployedcivil engineers.

They were allowed to register with the PWD and undertakeits assignments, estimated to cost up to Rs.15 lakh. Mr. Gadkari providedwork to around 30000 engineers through this bold initiative. At the sametime, Gadkari started a campaign to reward the employees doing goodwork and penalise those shirking their responsibilities.

Every year since, theState Governor distributes awards to outstanding PWD engineers on thebirth anniversary of Sir M. Visvesvaraya. Such pioneering efforts instilled aconfidence among the PWD personnel. Under Mr. Gadkari, they completedseveral prestigious assignments in record time. Mr. Gadkari’s two achievements stand out in particular.

He pioneered theconcept of Public-Private partnership (PPP) in infrastructure development.The BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) model has the basis of this concept. It isnow implemented widely in India, thanks to this initiative large budgetaryfunds were made available for rural road development. The other is the upgradation of norms for the construction industry. Completion of megaprojects in a time bound frame, too, is his initiative.

Establishment of aMaharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) was one ofhis innovative initiatives through which funds were raised from openmarket for infrastructure projects for the first time in India One of the first tasks Mr. Gadkari planned was to provide all-weather roadconnectivity to the 13736 villages in Maharashtra.

He noted that they hadremained unconnected even after 50 years of independence. He remarkedthat it would take 350 years to complete the work through annual budgets.As finances could not become available from government coffers, hepersuaded NABARD officials and obtained a soft loan of Rs. 700 crore forrural connectivity. Mr. Gadkari approached Naxalite-infested areas whereno road work was allowed by Naxalites.

He secured the assistance of theBorder Road Organisation (BRO) to construct roads and bridges, thusproviding the tribals with easy and permanent road access.As Guardian Minister for Nagpur District, Mr. Gadkari changed thecomplexion of Nagpur and the district. Low cost housing schemes foreconomically weaker sections, Markets for hawkers.

Development andbeautification of prominent places like Deekshabhoomi, where Dr. B.R.Ambedkar embraced Buddhism, were some of his noteworthyachievements. Social Outlook, Professional ApproachA successful entrepreneur, Mr. Gadkari tops the list of progressive leaderswho have profound concerns for socio-economic development andenvironmental protection. His personality is a perfect mix ofentrepreneurship and social leadership. This has helped him in creating.

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