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Opinion Op Ed 29 Jul 2018 Sunday Interview: &l ...

Sunday Interview: ‘On no-trust vote day, BJP won the first round of 2019 battle’

COLUMNIST | SHASHI BHUSHAN
Published Jul 29, 2018, 3:04 am IST
Updated Jul 29, 2018, 3:04 am IST
In an interview to Shashi Bhushan, BJP’s Delhi president and Lok Sabha member Manoj Tiwari.
Manoj Tiwari , BJP Delhi president and Lok Sabha member. (Photo:G.N. JHA)
 Manoj Tiwari , BJP Delhi president and Lok Sabha member. (Photo:G.N. JHA)

In an interview to Shashi Bhushan, BJP’s Delhi president and Lok Sabha member Manoj Tiwari said that the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi, having realised that they are not capable of beating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s developmental agenda or popularity, they are desperately running after smaller parties to form an alliance. Any alliance under the Congress’ umbrella will not succeed in dislodging the Modi government, he added.

What do you think of Opposition unity or the much talked about “grand alliance” for 2019, especially after the number of votes the Opposition won during the no-confidence motion?

 

The numbers that all the Opposition parties together managed to get during the no-trust motion clearly shows that cracks have already started appearing within the Opposition. Despite using all its might as the biggest Opposition party, the Congress failed to bring other non-NDA parties on the same platform. Only half of the Opposition responded to the Congress’ call for unity. 

Despite all their efforts, Rahul Gandhi won’t be able to bring all the Opposition parties on one platform to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. On the other hand, the BJP’s or NDA’s numbers have increased despite the fact that our partner Shiv Sena was absent from voting and another partner, TDP, brought the no-confidence motion. If you read between the lines, the message is loud and clear — that several Opposition parties have supported the Modi government. This shows that more and more parties are joining us.

 

Do you think the Congress offering prime ministership to other leaders will help in the formation of the “grand alliance”?

The Congress is disheartened after repeated electoral loss from one state to another. No senior Congress leaders are saying anything on any issue knowing the potential of their leader (Rahul Gandhi), and Mr Gandhi is disheartened knowing his performance. In frustration, the Congress, which ruled the country for 65 years, is looking towards Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress or Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party and is ready to offer them the prime ministerial post.

 

The Congress and its leadership, including Mr Gandhi, have realised that they are not capable of defeating Mr Modi’s developmental agenda or popularity, and are now desperately running after smaller parties to form an alliance. Any alliance under Congress’ umbrella will not succeed in dislodging the Modi government.

How do you see Rahul Gandhi hugging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then winking?

Everyone sitting in Lok Sabha was shocked after seeing Mr Gandhi behaving in this manner. His behaviour shows arrogance, a mindset that he and his family still rule the country, that they can direct anyone, including the Prime Minister, to stand up. 

 

The way he asked the Prime Minister to stand up was missed by the camera for a second, but those sitting in the House saw it. The Congress president also adversely affected the future of the grand alliance as many Opposition parties did not support the act knowing that Mr Gandhi is rude, arrogant and misbehaves with everyone. 

On the other hand people witnessed Mr Modi who kept smiling. On that day, BJP won the first round of 2019 battle on the floor of the House and, with people’s support, will win the second round in 2019.

Then why has the exchange of words between the BJP and the Congress become more heated?

 

That is not true. The Congress under new leadership (Rahul Gandhi) has started a new trend in politics — throw allegations without proof or facts. Even Mr Gandhi in his speech during the no-confidence motion said that they have learnt the art of speaking lies like others. We want to know from whom he has learnt to speak lies? The BJP and its leaders only talk about the good work and achievements of the Modi government, nothing else.

What will be the BJP’s agenda for the 2019 general election?

Our only agenda is development. Mr Modi only talks about development. The works of the Modi government will talk and it will also ensure their second term. The Modi government has done a lot of work and is moving towards achieving its goals set by the Prime Minister.

 

What will happen if it fails to achieve those goals?

Mr Modi is very honest. In 2017, Mr Modi asked people to give him another term to achieve his targets by 2022 and announced “Sankalp se Siddhi” — a five-year programme for New India. Mr Modi has honestly told people that he will transform India by 2022.

Is it true that the BJP is considering to fielding many celebrities in Lok Sabha polls?

Under the Modi government, “part-time” politics is not allowed. Mr Modi and BJP president Amit Shah are working tirelessly. I have also taken only 45 days’ leave in the last four years. The message is very clear — that part-time politics won’t be allowed under Mr Modi and Mr Shah’s leadership. 

 

A member of Parliament has to work as sewak not as lawmaker. Celebrities ready to work in pace with Mr Modi and Mr Shah are welcome. They must also understand that there are two types of politics — nationalist politics of the BJP and politics of appeasement by others. Doors are open for celebrities who believe in nationalist politics of the BJP. Those who are already serving or working for society may be considered by the party as candidates for Lok Sabha.

Is it true that a large number of sitting members will be replaced with new faces?

 

Whether sitting members of Lok Sabha will be replaced or not will be decided by the BJP’s parliamentary board. All MPs of the party are common workers, and they have faith in the BJP leadership and parliamentary board and follow their decisions.

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