Sending out a message to voters just days ahead of the first phase of polling for the Lok Sabha elections, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said that people should judge the government on the basis of the work it has done in the last five years.
“See, this time it will be a test of our governance. The ruling party should be analysed on the basis of its performance in five years. If people think we have not performed well, other parties will get a chance,” Gadkari was quoted by NDTV as saying.
The Narendra Modi aims at retaining power at the Centre on the strength of various welfare schemes like the Ujjwala Yojana and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan along with the recently launched direct cash transfer scheme for poor farmers. The first instalment of Rs 2,000 has already reached some beneficiaries.
While rubbishing speculations that he could be the "Prime Minister in the making", Gadkari said that he has never indulged into caste politics or nepotism and said that he will seek votes on the basis of work he has done in the last five years.
Last month, Gadkari had claimed that he had the support of several Congress leaders as he had “worked for all irrespective of their caste, religion, language and party affiliation. A huge number of Congress workers and office-bearers phone me and tell me not to worry”.
Amid speculations that he could be the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in case of a fractured mandate in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Gadkari had said that he was not in the race and stressed that “tireless work” was his mantra.
Earlier, he had termed speculations about him being in the race for prime minister as "mungeri lal ke haseen sapne" (day dreaming).
In February, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi along with other Congress members appreciated Gadkari for the "wonderful" work he has been doing in improving the country's infrastructure.
Gadkari is in charge of the road transport and highways; shipping; and water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation ministries.
Gadkari runs 1,100 Ekal Vidyalayas in extremist-hit areas of Maharashtra. These schools have 21,000 students and 950 teachers.
Besides, he runs "four hospitals on wheels" and has helped in getting artificial limbs from London and Germany for 900 people.