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‘Kettle Hotter Than Tea’: Nitin Gadkari On Ministerial Personal Assistants

PUNE: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today took potshots at the style of functioning of overenthusiastic personal assistants (PAs) of ministers, saying sometimes “the kettle is hotter than the tea”.

In a light-hearted banter, Mr Gadkari cited an incident when his PA directed a railway station master to ensure that the train in which he was travelling enters platform number 1, adjacent to the exit.

“I was travelling to Nagpur by train. My PA telephoned the station master asking him to see that the train enters and halts at platform number 1 as I had a leg injury. I kept wondering as this was done without my knowledge,” he said speaking at the two day Maharashtra BJP executive meeting which concluded in Pune today.

“It is a case of kettle being hotter than the tea,” Mr Gadkari said, sending ripples among the delegates, and quickly added that he was “not talking” about Maharashtra.

“But if this cap (his quip about PAs) fits somebody, consider it as a coincidence,” he said, as former Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse, who had resigned in the wake of charges against him that included an alleged bribe taken by his “PA”, shared the dais with Mr Gadkari.

Terming as “transient” the “salute” and honour given to the ministers, as any time their names could be prefixed with “ex or former”, Mr Gadkari said overenthusiastic cops who stop traffic to ensure passage for the car also at times land ministers in embarrassing situation.

“In such situations, I lower my head hoping that people would not recognise me and avoid hearing comments that because of me their time was wasted,” the Union Road Transport minister said.

He urged the party workers to dedicate themselves to organisational work and strive for national cause without pining for the fleeting glamour that goes with positions of power.