BJP president Shri Rajnath Singh feels that the real issue today is not who will be the Prime Ministerial candidate but who can ensure development and good governance that the people want. Talking to Organiser representative Pramod Kumar in New Delhi he says Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is a popular leader of BJP and he has won the heart of people by providing an efficient government. Excerpts:
What is the message of Goa National Executive?
The BJP is an ideology-based party and it is in politics with certain fundamental principles. Development and good governance are always on top of our agenda and the overall objective of our policies or activities is to provide good governance and ensure all-round development of every citizen of the country. We are working in that direction only.
The message prominently aired by media is that Narendra Modi is the PM candidate for 2014 elections. Though, there is no such formal announcement, the party has not contradicted such reports. What is the clear picture?
Shri Narendra Modi has been appointed chairman of party’s central election campaign committee. He is popular because of his commendable development work that he has done in Gujarat. We have won Gujarat thrice under his leadership. That is why he has been given this responsibility. Everybody is free to take this appointment as he/she wants. We have nothing else to say on it.
After this announcement, the reservations of some NDA partners have come in open. What have you to say?
It is our organisational matter. Each party devises some strategies to win the elections. We have also done it. The NDA is already a formidable force. All our partners including the JD(U), Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal are with us. All these are our old time allies and we want that they should continue as they have been.
What about the new allies?
There is no any such move at the moment. We too did not approach anybody till now. Our entire focus is on formulating the election strategy. If the numbers are in our favour, many new allies will come automatically.
There appears some uneasiness within the BJP also on this issue. What do you say?
Not at all. Yeh vivad nahin samvad hai (it is not a controversy, but a kind of dialogue.)
What will be the main focus during the elections?
We led NDA government for six years. Our performance of those days and also our present performance in some of the states will be presented before the people. There is clear difference in the economic condition of the country of those days and the present one. Even the top economists of world appreciated us then. Fiscal deficit and inflation were all under control. There was no crisis of balance of payment, price rise was also under control. But now the condition is known to everyone. GDP has come down to 5 per cent, rupee is at the lowest and inflation is skyrocketing.
But you had accepted the present economic reforms?
Yes, we had accepted. But apart from that we took adequate precautions and ensured that the autonomy of the economy should not be put to questions at all. Unfortunately, the solid economy that we had handed over then has now been ruined by this government.
What are the issues, which the BJP or the NDA want to raise at this moment?
There are many issues. Development and good governance are on top of them. Internal security is also equally important. Maoism, terrorism and fanaticism are creating troubles repeatedly. The objective of development that we all want to achieve cannot be achieved without peace. We are very serious on all the crises confronted by the nation including the economic, security and the diplomatic crisis. I feel the crisis of credibility is also equally serious today. All political parties should accept it as a challenge. The public trust in politics and politicians has decreased, which should exhort all sensible people in politics. It is also a threat to democracy, which cannot survive for long losing the trust of the public.
You see Maoism as a big threat, but the fight against it is being sabotaged by some elements, including the Congress leaders. What do you say?
It should have been checked in the beginning itself. If somebody has provided a breeding ground to Maoism in India it is the Congress. The Congress has done great harm to democracy and the interest of poor Vanvasis by extending ideological cover to Naxalism. It is appalling that some staunch supporters of Naxalism are members of prestigious committees of the Planning Commission and National Advisory Council. Using these forums they have made the government a medium to sow seeds of discord and discontentment against the State in the minds of the poor.
After the indictment of Navin Jindal and former MoS Dasari Narayan Rao by CBI in coal scam, how do you see the role of Prime Minister in this scam?
The intentional vetting of the CBI status report before submitting into Supreme Court was the sufficient ground to believe that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is involved in the scam. At least the people sitting on top must follow some morals. There must be some moral standards for the posts of President, Prime Minister and Chief Ministers. But it is an irony that such ethics and moral values have no place today in politics. It is definitely a big crisis.