Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, who turned 61 today, while speaking at a conclave recently, revealed as to why late Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray would call him – Roadkari – instead of Gadkari.
Gadkari, who is credited as the man behind the Mumbai-Pune Expressway while serving as the Maharashtra PWD minister from 1995 to 1999, during the conclave spoke about his passion for roads. Gadkari said, “I’m not an engineer. I don’t have expertise in civil engineering. During my tenure (as the PWD minister) in Maharashtra, I developed an interest in roads. Roads are my passion. In fact, Balasaheb Thackeray used to call me ‘Roadkari’ because of my passion for roads.”
Gadkari, during his conversation with journalist Rajdeep Sardesai at the conclave, also revealed how he became the Minister for Road Transport and Highways. Gadakri said, “PM Modi asked me as to which ministry I want and I told him that I want to take up road transport as I have done it before and will enjoy it. The PM told me that it is not a front-end department and it doesn’t come in the top four or five ministeries. I said that I didn’t have a problem with that.”