“Only BJP Can Fulfil People’s Aspirations” — Jual Oram
“At this critical juncture, while taking the responsibility of Orissa state BJP, which is facing several challenges, I would be able to successfully overcome all the challenges with the help and guidance of the senior party leaders and whole-hearted co-operation of the party cadres,” said Mr Jual Oram, the second-time elected president of Orissa state BJP in an interview to Uday India Correspondent Sunil Dwibedi in Bhubaneswar. A simple and down-to-earth politician, championing the cause of tribal, Mr Jual Oram is the first-ever tribal who had assumed the responsibility of Union Tribal Affairs Minister in NDA government led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. He said the basic need of the tribal people could not be made available even after 60 years of Independence because non-committed politicians towards tribal and poor people have ruled Orissa as Chief Ministers—be it Mr JB Patnaik or Mr Naveen Patnaik. Excerpts:
What prompted the party to shift you from central leadership to the state party chief ?
After the party came to power in the state as well as at the centre during the NDA regime many important party leaders then concentrated on discharging their official duty as ministers and also as part of the central leadership, thereby the party cadres felt neglected. Therefore, at this critical juncture, grassroots-level workers’ motivation towards ideology and their strong commitment to the cause of the party are required. Hence, this prompted me to shift from central leadership to state party chief.
In Orissa the party appears to be facing the crisis of leadership and this was the major issue before the public that BJP could not announce a chief ministerial candidate till last elections. comment.
In Orissa there is a galaxy of leaders to lead the party and to become the Chief Minister of Orissa. As you know, earlier the party was in alliance with BJD. When the alliance broke, the election process was on. Hence, there was no time for announcement of chief ministerial candidate. In future, the party may take a decision to project the chief ministerial candidate, if needed.
Many former BJP ministers, MPs and MLAs from Orissa have left their positions due to different charges and allegations. Then how can you say that the BJP is party with a difference ?
The charges that have been levelled are false, fabricated and are with ulterior political motives. Hence, these charges will have no impact on the party in future,
Majority of state leaders are criticising the party decisions on open forums and recently Kharbela Swain criticised the Sangh’s moral character. comment.
It is again false and fabricated and a politically motivated charge. The Sangh leaders bear a high moral character. Mr Swain did not utter a single word while he had been in BJP for last 20 years and got elected thrice the Member of Parliament from Balasore parliamentary constituency with the help of Sangh leaders and party workers. When he left the party he levelled this false charge, which the public will not believe.
Do you plan to induct Swain in the party ?
The state-level leadership does not consider it.
You have big challenges ahead to put the party in order. What are your priorities?
Yes, at this critical juncture, while taking the responsibility of Orissa BJP, which is facing many challenges, I would be able to successfully overcome these challenges with the help and guidance of the senior party leaders and whole- hearted co-operation of the party cadres as they assured me while taking charge of state presidentship on December 23, 2009.
Why did the BJP fail to gather momentum against Naveen government on any issue—be it mining scam or Vedanta University issue?
It is only the BJP party that brought this issue to the public domain and it is working continuously to put pressure on the government and this issue is getting momentum day-by-day. It may soon turn into a mass agitation as the above subjects have already become issues before the public.
Has the BJP hammered out any strategy to tackle the Maoist menace in the state ?
In this matter we have already passed the resolutions in our National Executive and State Executive in the recent past. Our stand is very clear. I need not repeat it again.
Why did the BJP fail to take the Oppositions seat from the Congress, although it had got many issues against Naveen Patnaik ?
Only issues do not give a good result in the election. Moral strength in the cadres and image in the public are also required for a better result. As we were in alliance, public did not accept us as a viable alternative to rule the state. Hence, we secured poor result and could not become the Opposition.
You are a tribal and many tribals in your state are living their life under Maoist threat and are still waiting for basic human needs. Explain.
The basic need of the tribal people could not be made available even after 60 years of Independence because non-committed people towards tribal and poor people have ruled Orissa as Chief Ministers—be it JB Patnaik or Naveen Patnaik.
Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati murder case is still unsolved. Puri Jagannath Temple land had been sold to Vedanta Group when the BJP was in alliance with the BJD. Even the Sangh leadership was unhappy with many decisions of the BJP-BJD alliance government. Comment.
It was a mistake on our part for not withdrawing the support from the government after the brutal murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. Our ministers in the erstwhile government had opposed to give the land favour to Vedanta Group for setting-up of University. In spite of that the Chief Minister gave the land to Vedanta, for which our party has been organising agitations time and again. It is a fact that the Sangh leadership was unhappy with certain decisions of the BJP-BJD alliance government.