Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said he is working "closely and relentlessly" with both Central and state leadership including Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to ensure BJP's victory in the coming state Assembly elections.
Gadkari's statement comes after a leading daily claimed, quoting party insiders, that "Gadkari has largely been sidelined from the affairs of the poll-bound state despite being one of the BJP's tallest leaders from Maharashtra."
Terming the report as "completely baseless," Gadkari said in a statement: "A figment of imagination, it seems to have been created with a single-minded agenda to mislead and confuse. I strongly condemn the complete disregard of basic ethics of journalism while writing this so-called piece of news."
He added: "I want to make it clear that BJP is a disciplined, cadre-based party. We are all working towards winning the forthcoming Maharashtra elections. I have personally been working closely and relentlessly with both the Central and state leadership, including the Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis to ensure our victory. Had the reporter taken the trouble to check the facts, the same would have been revealed."
Gadkari has further requested the media to avoid "reporting that is away from the truth" and not fall prey to "malafide intentions and nefarious agenda."
"As people and party-men are smart and aware of the reality, such reportage will not affect me or the BJP, but shall definitely raise a question on the credibility of media," he said.
The news report also stated that "although Gadkari was part of the Core Committee on Maharashtra, he had virtually no say in ticket distribution."
Assembly elections will be held in Maharashtra on October 21, while the counting of votes will take place on October 24.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)