Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan, BJP general secretary who is incharge of Haryana state, feels that the poll results in the state will surprise everybody. He says that people of the state have seen the rule of both the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the Congress and both have betrayed them. He said people of the state have a viable alternative in BJP. In an exclusive interview to Organiser correspondent Pramod Kumar Shri Chauhan said the INLD chief, Shri Om Prakash Chautala neither followed the mitra dharma and the gathbandhan Dharma nor did he do anything concrete for the welfare of the people of the state. He explained the reasons why the BJP has decided to go alone in the Haryana state Assembly elections this time. Excerpts:
Why is there no alliance with the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in Haryana this time?
Our alliance with the INLD was mainly for two purposes—making Haryana a prosperous and developed state along with solving the problems of the masses and for maintaining the continuity of the NDA government. We fulfilled the alliance dharma very well but we had a very bitter experience with Shri Chautala. Because of his misrule Haryana is today engulfed in corruption. There was no rule of law. It was actually jungle raj. No honest effort was made to solve the basic problems of the people. Farmers are facing acute power crisis. The southern areas of the state are not getting water. By and large, the people of Haryana want to get rid of the Chautala raj at any cost. The first commitment of the BJP is not to any particular individual or particular party; but to the people. It was quite illogical to continue the alliance with those people who have failed to rise up to the people’s aspirations.
In the last assembly elections, we entered into alliance with Shri Chautala and as per the agreement, we contested 29 seats. But at most of the seats allotted to us, Shri Chautala fielded independent candidates to defeat the BJP candidates. He neither followed the mitra dharma and gathbandhan dharma, nor did he do anything concrete for the people of the state. There was no option left for us but to go alone this time.
Don’t you think pushing Shri Chautala out would weaken the NDA?
There is no question of weakening the NDA. We had broken the alliance before the Lok Sabha elections of 2004. The adoption of mitra dharma and gathbandhan dharma is expected from both sides. But Shri Chautala did not follow it. Furthermore, the ultimate goal of the BJP is not to move always in alliance. Our aim is to provide good governance. If we fail to achieve our goals in any alliance, there is no reason for staying in it.
Is BJP contesting in Haryana for emerging as a strong opposition party or for forming a government?
We are not contesting just for the sake of contesting an election; we want to win the elections. In today’s political scenario of Haryana, we may not claim that we shall form a government, but I can say that some miracle can also happen. We are contesting very seriously.
There are reports that there is a possibility of an alliance with INLD?
After releasing the list of 39 candidates, I think the discussion on such possibilities should stop. The INLD too has released its first list. We have taken the decision after a thorough discussion. It is not merely a political gimmick.
How can the BJP ensure its victory in the direct fight between the INLD and the Congress?
The main fight is not between the INLD and the Congress; it will ultimately be between the BJP and the Congress in Haryana. It is for the first time that the BJP has not only reached the rural areas of Haryana but also registered its effective presence. Our party organisation has expanded considerably. We have fielded strong candidates providing adequate representation to all communities and sections of the society.
Where will your campaign focus—rural or the urban areas?
We shall focus on both the areas. Undoubtedly we have a traditional stronghold in urban areas, but in the rural areas also we have developed a strong base. People from all sections of the society have joined hands with the BJP.
In which parts of Haryana you expect a good performance from the BJP?
Entire Haryana will support us. We are not confined to any particular area; our network has expanded through each nook and corner of the state.
What are the main issues in this election?
There are mainly two issues—corruption and misrule. The developmental process has also come to a standstill position. No new opportunities of employment are provided to the youth. We shall expose both the INLD and the Congress in Haryana. The Congress too has betrayed the people of Haryana on the issue of SYL. The Punjab Assembly has canceled the water agreement and the Congress leaders are silent over the issue. In such a situation the only alternative left before the people is to support BJP. People have experienced the regime of both the INLD and the Congress and both have disappointed them. We hope the people of Haryana will provide us an opportunity for a good governance and a developed state.