Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said politicians should refrain from interfering in fields of literature and education, The Indian Express reported.

“Politics has its own limitations and we should learn that politicians should not interfere in other fields like education and literature,” Gadkari said. “Let those managing these fields do their work.” Gadkari was delivering the valedictory address at the 92nd Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal.

Gadkari’s comments come in the wake of the organisers of the event withdrawing an invitation to author Nayantara Sahgal to inaugurate the literary event after workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had objected to it.

Gadkari, however, said he does not mean that people from the field of literature and politicians should not interact with each other. “During the Emergency, speeches of [Marathi] writers like Durga Bhagwat and PL Deshpande drew bigger crowds than political rallies,” PTI quoted Gadkari as saying. “Both of them, however, returned to literature after elections. They did not seek political postings like Rajya Sabha membership.”

Gadkari said there should be “cooperation, coordination and communication” between politicians and litterateurs. “...We must respect each other’s limit and try to understand each other better,” he added.

Gadkari said a social deterrent must keep a check on political power. “This force will be created by the combined strength of people like journalists and litterateurs.”