Shri Vijay Goel is BJP'snational general secretary who entered into politics through Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). He took active part in JP movement and was imprisoned. He was elected president of Delhi University Students? Union (1977-78) as ABVP candidate. He recorded three consecutive Lok Sabha wins from Delhi. As Minister of State in NDA government headed by Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee he worked in PMO and also held Labour, Parliamentary Affairs and Youth Affairs portfolios. He is the party incharge for Haryana. Amba Charan Vashishth spoke to him. Excerpts:
A few months back you were elected general secretary of BJP. What does it mean to you?
I think the party has reposed faith in me and it is recognition of my work, service and devotion to the organisation. I have always given priority to party work and whatever assignment I was given, I performed it with full commitment and devotion to the best of my ability. For me personally, it is an honour.
Since the time you have been put in charge of Haryana State BJP, what changes have been visible in the party there?
Since I was made in charge of BJP affairs in Haryana, I have brought unity and cohesion in the party. I have mobilised the party cadre for the challenges ahead. I organised in rally at Jind which was highly successful and attended by more than 80,000 karyakartas from every corner of the State. Shri Lal Krishna Advani and Shri Rajnath Singh also attended the rally. They were highly impressed with the public response to the party. Now, the INLD has joined the NDA. We will give a tough fight to the Congress and defeat it in the elections.
Why has BJP not so far been able to emerge as an alternative to Congress in Haryana?
Earlier, our party concentrated only on urban areas. Our reach in rural areas was minimal. We had made no effort to penetrate into villages. But now we have given the slogan, ?Chalo Gaon ki ore?. There has been tremendous response to this programme and we have established roots in rural areas also. The state party and the leadership have been strengthened. The common karyakarta too has been energised. The positive response to the party from rural areas has now boosted the party morale and it is better placed than ever to fight elections more effectively with much better results.
What prospects do you see for the party in Haryana in the next Lok Sabha and, later, assembly elections?
As far as Lok Sabha elections are concerned, we will win all the 10 seats. The assembly elections are about two years away, but we shall be in a position to form government there.
What are your plans to make BJP strong enough to defeat Congress and form the next government in Haryana?
We have energised the party cadre at every level?village booth, panchayat, urban local body, district level. We have gone right down to the booth level and constituted booth level committees in most of the assembly constituencies. By the time we are ready for Lok Sabha elections, our party will be much stronger at every level to realise the Vijay Sankalp of the party.
You have been in politics for long. What have been your achievements in this field?
It was because of my mobilisation of people that the single digit lottery was banned. I was instrumental in exposing the racket to get admissions on fake certificates in Delhi University. I got 33 acres of barren land around Red Fort and developed into a beautiful garden. A heritage museum was established at Chandni Chowk. These are only a few of the important successes.
Basically, you are a politician with roots in Delhi. Elections to the state assembly are due in November and a little later to Parliament. Which of the two elections would you personally like to fight ? Lok Sabha or assembly?
Yes, I am very much rooted in Delhi politics. But my fighting election will depend on the decision of the party. I will contest from where the party wishes to utilise my services.
How hopeful are you about BJP being voted to power in Delhi?
I am fully confident that Sheila Dikshit-led Congress government in Delhi will get the worst ever drubbing in the coming elections. BJP is sure to be returned to power and form the next government on its own strength.
Will it be a win for BJP or a defeat for Congress for its non-performance?
It will be a vote against the Congress Party and the Sheila government which has been in power for the last 10 years. The Congress has hardly done anything for the people of Delhi, particularly the neglected sections of society. People continue to suffer because of paucity of power, shortage of water supply, inadequate and poor civic amenities and transport services, rising prices, shortages of essential commodities and what not. Promises made to the people remained just on paper. Above all, is the anti-incumbency against the Congress government.
Is BJP'soptimism based on solid grounds or just a dream?
Our optimism is based on hard realities and the feedback we have received from the general masses. The response to BJP'sprogrammes and agitations in Delhi has been spontaneous and tremendous and that is the proof of party'sgrowing popularity.
The people of unauthorised colonies have during the past 10 years been fed on false promises. The JJ cluster colonies too are offended and resolutely against the government. At the same time, I must say we must not suffer from over-confidence. We should not be complacent. We have to work hard and fight for every vote.
Do you think during the last 10 years BJP has performed the role of a responsible and constructive opposition well to have earned the popularity for being voted to power in place of Congress?
Yes. BJP has throughout played its role as an ever vigilant, active and effective opposition which played a very constructive role. It has highlighted the plight and pain of the people of Delhi in an effective manner. That is why more and more people have joined and supported our party. We have never been found wanting to play our role as an opposition. It is the BJP which has not allowed the Sheila Government to have a peaceful sleep for all its acts of omission and commission.
Recently you organised an impressive rally under the banner of Unauthorised Colonies Mahasangh. What would you say?
It was an unprecedented rally. Advaniji and Rajnathji too said so. For weeks together I was busy mobilising people for the rally by visiting every colony to seek people'ssupport. I am glad my efforts were successful.
Recently there have been serial bomb blasts in Delhi. What would you say?
It is nothing new under the present state and UPA government at the Centre. It is the result of a soft approach towards terror and policy of appeasement. UPA government has failed to nab the culprits of pre-Diwali bomb blasts in 2005 in Delhi. There is all round scare in the city. Government needs to revive POTA or enact a strong anti-terror law.