Scania bus row: Gadkari’s office calls report baseless

It was responding to a Swedish media probe into a purported transaction between Scania and a firm that supposedly has close links with his family members

Media reports about gifting of a bus by Swedish bus manufacturer Scania to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari are “malicious, fabricated and baseless”, the Minister’s office said on Thursday.

It was responding to a Swedish media investigation about a purported transaction between Scania and an unnamed Indian company that supposedly has close connections to members of Transport Minister Mr. Gadkari’s family.

The report published by Swedish news channel SVT claims that the incident allegedly happened in late 2016 when a luxury bus was sold through a private Scania reseller or dealer, who in turn sold or leased the bus to a company with connections to Mr. Gadkari’s sons.

‘Volkswagen reimbursed’

According to the SVT report, the financing was handled by Volkswagen’s finance company and that Scania’s CEO confirmed that the company [Scania] reimbursed Volkswagen for the part of the sum that the Gadkari-linked company did not pay.

“The allegations that the bus was not paid for and was used for the wedding of Mr. Gadkari’s daughter are nothing but a figment of media’s imagination. The media reports that the bus was financed by a Volkswagen finance company, but Scania stepped into pay for the part that the above-mentioned company did not, that itself contradicts that the bus was a gift to Shri Gadkari,” reads the statement, adding “Gadkari and his family members have absolutely nothing to do with the purchase or sale of the bus. Nor do they have anything to do with any firm or individual who might be linked with the purchase or sale of the bus.”

The Minister’s office asserted that Mr. Gadkari introduced Scania’s Ethanol-run bus in Nagpur as a part of his drive to bring in green public transport in India and encouraged the Nagpur Municipal Corporation to initiate a pilot project, following which the Nagpur civic body signed a commercial MoU with the Swedish company.

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