“Only The Bjp Can Bring Change In The Future Of The CounTRY” — Nitin Gadkari
“The BJP is firm on its stand on Common Civil Code and Article 370. We haven’t abandoned any of our stands, but other parties in NDA also have to agree on these issues,” said Nitin Gadkari, former national president, BJP, in an exclusive interview to Editor Deepak Kumar Rath. Mr. Gadkari spoke candidly on various issues related to BJP. Excerpts:
What will you say about the missing coal scam files?
The most important thing today is the economic condition of our country, which is in a worse situation. This is due to the decisions of the government on the 2G spectrum, coalgate scam, etc, which were not transparent. If these processes had been undertaken through the tender process, we wouldn’t have this problem now. Due to the old policy of “first come, first serve”, we have had the 2G scam of Rs 1 lakh 76 thousand crore, the coalgate scam of Rs 1 lakh 85 thousand crore and the Commonwealth scam of Rs 36 thousand crore. All these scams are due to faulty economic policies and inefficiency of the government. Today we have problems like corruption, wrong economic policies, inefficient leadership, and lack of farsightedness on the part of the government. These problems have created a condition in the country, where everyone is doing whatever he/she wants, like files are missing, CBI is working on its own, and court is ruling the country. This resulted in worsening of our economic condition and closure of industries. Our Constitution has three lists: Central, state and concurrent. Subjects covered under the central list are the responsibility of Man Mohan Singh-led UPA government. Our power sector, which is an industry of Rs 2 lakh 60 thousand crore, has been completely destroyed. Mining fields, which come under the central list, today imports coal worth $ 20 billion, despite having Asia’s largest coal deposits. Our mines are closed. If the Coal Ministry gives the permission of mining, the CBI stops it, if the CBI clears it, the court stops it and when the court clears it, the Environment Ministry stops it. We have 14-15 goldmines but we can’t mine them. If we had used the Canadian or Australian technique of mining, we wouldn’t have to import gold. We spend $ 200 billion on import of crude oil, despite having more than 350 places from where we can extract natural gas and crude oil. There is no transparency in mining processes in Assam and Manipur, which forces us to import from outside. We could have easily cut down the difference of $ 350 billion in import and export bills, which in turn would have made the rupee stronger. Today, the rupee has breached the 65-mark against the dollar. These days, people are making fun of the condition of the rupee. They say that today one dollar is of Rs 65; one beer is of Rs 70; and one kg onion is of Rs 70 and the day is not far-off when one liter petrol will cost Rs 100, one kg onion Rs 100 and one dollar will be of Rs 100. Where is this country heading for? We are a rich nation, of poor people, due to the scams done by this government. I think without changing this government, we can’t think of the solution of the problems afflicting this country.
But ‘inflation’ is not becoming an issue. The Opposition has failed to make an issue of this matter.
No one makes an issue. Only those who bear the brunt of inflation cry. People, who are buying onion at Rs 70 a kilo, are crying. Poor people are bearing the brunt of inflation. The Congress will have to bear the consequence of skyrocketing inflation. Sonia Gandhi, ManMohan Singh, UPA government and Congress will definitely bear the consequence of discontent of the people.
You say the government is a failure on all fronts. But being the most important Opposition party, the BJP too has not declared anyone its leader in front of the country. What message will go to the public due to this?
The BJP is a democratic party. This is not a party of mother-son, father-daughter or a one-man army. Naturally, we have a collective leadership. I believe that will take a decision on this matter soon and will clear it in front of the people of country. Even the Congress can’t declare its candidate for the post PM. Can you say that Man Mohan Singh will be its PM candidate in the next election? Decisions are taken on the right time. This is the biggest problem with the media that it wants everything to be declared now. Should we declare our agenda on media-dictated terms?
Recently, you made Narendra Modi Chairman of Election Campaign Committee. It gave a message to the people that he is BJP’s natural candidate for the post of PM. Why don’t you clear the scenario?
Narendra Modi has started working as Chairman of the Election Campaign Committee and definitely he is a national leader now. As for the declaration of the Prime Minister candidate, the party will take the decision on the right time.
Is it true that senior leaders like Murli Manohar Joshi and you will work under a Chief Minister and will be reporting to him?
This is wrong. This is all your imagination. Nobody asks us for report and we don’t report to anyone. In the BJP, there is no such thing like a big or a small leader.
Being the Chairman of the Manifesto Committee, Dr. Joshi will finally present his report to Narendra Modi only….
No, definitely not. Who says these things to you? He is not going to report to anyone. He will present his report to the Parliamentary Board of our party. First thing is we all are workers and we all work for the party. I want to tell you one thing, the values we have got do not give importance as to who will be the Prime Minister or minister, whose government will be formed. Its prime focus is on how our country will be secured. Today, our country is bankrupt, foreign investment is not coming; one dollar is of Rs 65. Mining is destroyed and internal and external security is in danger. China has intruded into many areas; Pakistan is continuously creating nuisance in the country. Naxalism is on the rise. In spite of being defeated thrice, Pakistan has declared proxy war on India through terrorist organisations. In these conditions, it is not important as to who will be the Prime Minister, but how to secure the country.
LK Advani has described Shivraj Singh Chauhan as a big leader and that he has also done great development works in his state…
I think the media distorts many things. I have heard what Advaniji has said. What is being deciphered of his statement is not right. He has praised Modiji and he is confident that Modiji has the capability to give an efficient leadership. I am telling you repeatedly, it is the media-sponsored agenda. Should we take our decisions according to you? Turning one against another, putting words in our mouth and creating controversies in BJP, despite having no truth in them, is the handiwork of media people.
When you were removed from the post of party president, at that time also it was said that it was a media-sponsored agenda.
For the last six months, there has been no notice against me. I was not director of any company. Wherever raids and surveys were done, nothing could be found out in records. Unfortunately, the media does not differentiate between truth and propaganda.
So are you also a victim of the media?
Anyone can be a victim of the media these days. It is true that there is nothing against me. If I ask you what corruption I have done, what will you say? If I ask media people, what wrong I have done, they won’t have any answer. As far as I am concerned, there are 12 thousand shareholders, you can produce anybody on my name, who will say anything? Nobody is in the mood of listening. This will create a condition, in which no honest person will come in the front.
It seems the BJP is not active on its basic issues. Will the BJP contest the election on the issue of development?
There are two things. When we talk positive things you say, there are many issues other than the government and when we take up those issues, you say we are talking negative. So the media creates problem in every aspect of politics. We don’t want to form the government, only by proving this government wrong. We still believe that good governance is the basic thing. You can see the difference between the present government’s and the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government’s GDP growth rate, agriculture growth rate, happy human index, per capita income. Every department under the central government is in a bad condition. In the aviation sector, Air India is in loss and Kingfisher has stopped functioning. In the telecom sector, 2G scam has destroyed the whole industry. In the power sector, a scam of Rs 2 lakh 60 thousand crore has destroyed the whole power sector. Every sector under the central government is in a bad shape. This government is only worried about its family. A leadership based on the order of a “family” can never work for the welfare of the country. Today, if there is any party that can bring change in the future of the country, it is BJP, which is working for the country, society and the poor. We will change the picture of our country.
The BJP always claimed itself to be “a party with a difference”. Its movement, character and face were its basic tenets, but we have seen gradual decline in these areas. What will you say on this?
No leader comes directly from the sky. A journalist or a leader, all comes from the same society. If the society itself is contaminated, the outcome will also be like that. A vice-chancellor has his views and a poor person also his own views. We have to make policies for the social and economic development of the poor people. This is the opinion of the BJP and we are constantly working towards it. Our state governments have also proved this by doing good work.
The violence, which was earlier confined to Kashmir, has now reached Jammu via Kishtwar. Don’t you think Article 370 should be scrapped?
Definitely. It should be scrapped. But, for that, we don’t have majority in the Parliament. It is very unfortunate that in this country, due to vote bank politics, we use secularism in a wrong way. Secularism means panth nirpekshata” and “sarva dharma sambhava”. There is no such meaning as dharma nirpekshata in the dictionary. Leader, police, army, courts, media can be secular, but an individual cannot be a secular. Meaning of religion, as described by Vivekananda and the Supreme Court, is functional in nature. Religion means you are doing what you ought to do. It is a way of life. Unfortunately, due to its vote-bank politics, the Congress is promoting .casteism and communalism in the country. It is unfortunate that even after court verdict on the Batla House encounter, Congress leaders are still terming it fake. For the vote bank politics, will we allow appeasement of the terrorists? Will we support terrorists and hang the brave and patriot police officers? I believe that today our country is in a dangerous situation, in every aspect—security, economy, everything. We need to save our country, future of our country. We need to make our country peaceful, prosperous and strong. We need to free our country of terrorism and corruption. This is the dream of the BJP.
The problem of Jammu and Kashmir is growing day-by-day. What is the solution of this problem?
We always support scrapping of Article 370. But the question is, we don’t have the majority for the constitutional amendment.
Why do you not declare this before the elections?
The BJP is firm on its stand on Common Civil Code and Article 370. We haven’t abandoned any of our stands, but other parties in NDA also have to agree on these issues. We are not in majority now, but when we get the majority, we will implement all our promises.
What are the chances of declaration of Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate of BJP in 2014 General Elections?
Our national president has told everyone not to talk on this matter with the media. I will follow his decision. We will take decision on the right time.