“PM Narendra Modi’s vision is the need for the nation”
“Uttar Pradesh is literally ruled by mafias now and the state needs to be ruled by visionaries like our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Congress is no more acceptable to the common man because of its wrong agenda and Rahul Gandhi has already been rejected all over the country. In the greater interest of Uttar Pradesh, I have joined the BJP for a developed state,” says Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the former President of Uttar Pradesh Congress and talks about her future political odyssey in the BJP in an exclusive interview with Nilabh Krishna. Excerpts:
Why have you left the Congress and joined the BJP. How do you see the BJP in upcoming 2017 Assembly elections in UP?
The Congress party has lost all its ground support in Uttar Pradesh.after the mantle of election campaign has gone to Prashant Kishore. All the stalwarts of the party have become redundant. People of Uttar Pradesh are not ready for the leadership of Sheila Dikshit or Rahul Gandhi. So, for the sake of saving the people from the clutches of BSP and SP misrule and also for the development of the state, which didn’t happen in the last 27 years, the BJP is the only option. People of the state still believe in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s credentials and if the BJP wants to get absolute majority in the state then people like me from all other parties will have to come on board.
When you were in Congress, you criticised both Modi and the BJP. Don’t you think BJP’s activists will hold their grudge against you?
I was a member of the Congress party and when you are in a party, it is imperative to toe the party line and I did my duty only and if the question of ideology arises, my ideology always aligned with the BJP’s. Modiji has said that the Constitution is his holy book and recently Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the BJP will not let any minority community to be oppressed and he also talked of many schemes like Kisan Sammelan for the upliftment of the minority community. So, if the BJP reaches out to the minority communities, then certainly I can play my role in it. The party knows my ideology and I will stand by the party in every possible way.
Both Sheila Dikshit and Mayawati are the CM faces for their respective parties. Will you be the CM face of the BJP in the state?
See, when I was president of the state unit of Uttar Pradesh Congress, even then I was not a CM face and here I have just joined the party. I didn’t ask for ticket in the upcoming elections in the state and if the party decides then only will I enter the election fray.
You said that the working style of Rahul Gandhi and increasing clout of Prashant Kishore made you to join the BJP.
I have taken this decision in the interest of the state and the country. In these times when Modiji is fighting a lone battle against terrorism, it is necessary for every Indian to stand united with him, which the Congress party is not doing. Also Congress’ condition in the state is very pitiful and it can’t make a dent in the misrule of SP and BSP. People of the state are not ready for Sheila or Rahul. So, the BJP is the only option.
You said that Prashant Kishore rules over grass-roots leaders like you.
Until local leaders are not taken into account, nothing is possible for the Congress in UP. In these modern times, there is a need of poll manager, not poll director. I think everything is left on Prashant Kishore only. It is noteworthy that any party that gives importance to its workers rules the roost.
So you joined the BJP for the dynamic leadership of Modi or was there any other reason?
Modiji’s agenda is of development. He is fighting the menace of terrorism with a iron hand, foreign policy is on a right track and relationship with neighbouring countries is appreciable. The surgical strike, conducted by India in the aftermath of Uri attacks, was praised by all countries barring a few.
For the last 24 years, you had been an active member of the Congress party. The ecision of parting ways with the Congress must be very painful.
Many a time, in the interest of the state and the country, one has to take tough decisions. Modiji’s leadership is essential for the development of both our country and the state and that’s why I joined the BJP.
As you have said the clout of Prashant Kishore has grown in the party, so is it a personal sullenness?
No personal sullenness but the way the Congress party had to go forward it has failed to do so. If the whole nation stood in the support of surgical strikes then asking for evidence and ranting about “ Khoon ki dalali” tantamount to weakening of our country. When we point fingers at our own government on such sensitive issues, we give ammunition to the enemy countries. When the army’s DGMO issued a statement, where is the question of doubting it. Besides, the Congress is not a small party like AAP, whose leaders keep on ranting anything. The Congress has a national presence and when it speaks people listen. So, these kind of unsolicited comments promotes terrorism.
Many people say that Sonia Gandhi used to listen to big leaders but Rahul seems to have apathy towards such leaders?
From the time Central Committee of the Congress party has started taking decisions; such cases are seen. There is increasing communication gap among the members. When Sonia Gandhi was at the helm, she used to listen everyone and took everyone along with her but, unfortunately, it is not happening now. Leaders are apprehensive of their role being diminished in the whole process.
How do you see the future of Rahul?
People of the country still have apprehensions about him.