“Kishtwar Violence Questioned The Sovereignty Of India” – Rajnath Singh
“Now, Kishtwar violence can’t be seen as a communal violence. I believe that it is a question on the sovereignty of the country. We have seen that the group which instigated the carnage had the Pakistani flag in their hand, so it should not be taken as a normal act of violence. It should be taken as a big question mark on our sovereignty. BJP President Rajnath Singh remarked, while talking exclusively to our editor Deepak Kumar Rath. Excerpts:
How do you react to the recent killing of five soldiers on the Indo-Pak border? Why are our soldiers sacrificed day in and out? What should be the government’s strategy to tackle this situation?
If our soldiers had to sacrifice their lives, it was the fault of our government. Pakistan is not mending its ways. Recently, when two of our soldiers, Hemant and Sudhakar were murdered mercilessly by Pakistani soldiers, the government should have reacted in a limited but firm way. If, after the earlier beheadings and mutilation of our soldiers, the government had reacted and retaliated in a fitting manner, then today we would not have to face these killings. Unfortunately, the government is not taking any such step. In the last few years, many terrorist activities have occurred, including the 26/11 Mumbai attack, but this government only issues warning, no concrete step are being taken. The Indo-Pak diplomatic relations should be scaled down for the time being, the High Commissioner to Pakistan should be called back immediately. We haven’t given a clear message to them, but are always ready to hold talks. The Prime Minister should declare in the present context that, till the normalisation of situation in Pakistan, India will talk to neither the Prime Minister nor the President of that country.
But you too had congratulated Nawaz Sharif when he became the Prime Minister?
If anyone is besotted with responsibility, then it’s quite normal to congratulate him and wish his success. The biggest problem that Pakistan faces is the fact that no one knows who holds the strings. Whether the control of the country is in the hands of the Army, the ISI, or the elected government? I can say with certainty that there is no control of the government on the Army and the ISI.
So you have given up all hope of Nawaz Sharif’s performance as a Prime Minister?
Yes, of course he is hopless now. Actually he is not in the condition of doing anything tangible. I doubt that he will ever be able do anything of his own, it is hard to believe.
Do you think China has a conspirator’s role in this regard?
You can’t ignore the fact that Pakistan and China have always had an “all-weather” friendship, so whenever a strategy is to be formulated, India should keep this vital fact in mind.
So what ‘Diplomatic Strategy’ should be adopted? If Pakistan-China have made a unholy nexus against India, then in the Asian continent, which country will help India in strategizing this nexus?
We do have the strategy in place for this kind of situation, but it cannot be disclosed in the national interest. It will be used and put in place when the right time comes.
It is alleged that the BJP government in Gujarat is conducting business with China?
Trade and Commerce is a very different ball game. We still maintain trade-relation with Pakistan. Every country of this world has business relations with other countries. In the present condition, the government should formulate policies only after taking major political parties into confidence.
What is your say about Hafiz Sayeed’s recent threat of bombing Red Fort ?
As I said earlier, our Prime Minister is still ready to indulge in talks with them. These inactions are encouraging them to these sorts of verbal diatribes against India.
The Prime Minister has not committed to talk with Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of UN General Assembly meeting in New York?
The whole of India knows this. In our knowledge, the Indian government is making all the around work for the talks. Understanding the nation’s mood, the Prime Minister should openly declare that he will not talk to his Pakistani counterpart.
Should the Prime Minister meet Nawaz Sharif or not?
No, definitely not. There should not be any indication of talks.
But, without talks, how will the situation improve?
From the very first war in 1948, till date, all we have had is talks and pacts, but we haven’t reached any solution. So what is the point of indulging in talks again and again? We should now take some concrete steps in accordance to the situation.
What are your comments on AK Antony’s ‘flip-flop’ in Parliament?
It was very unfortunate. It seems that he gave the first statement on half known facts. There may be two reasons for that, either the above said is true and he was misinformed, or he said it with ‘vote-bank politics’ in mind, something that the Congress is very adept at. We can’t overlook this possibility.
Is this the BJP’s allegation towards the Defence Minister?
Do you feel that there is a distinct disconnect between the government and the army?
No, I cannot say this because our army still works on our government’s strategy. There should not be any doubt on the Indian Army.
No, no, what I meant was that the government is not listening to the messages of the army?
In truth, I don’t have any information on the army’s messages to the government, so I can’t comment on that.
The present day Jammu and Kashmir Government is literally volatile due to recent
violence in Kishtwar. Why is such violence happening every year during the month of Ramzan?
Now, this incident can’t be seen as a communal violence. I believe that it is a question on the sovereignty of the country. We have seen that the group which instigated the carnage had the Pakistani flag in their hand, so it should not be taken as a normal act of violence. It should be taken as a big question mark on our sovereignty.
Who will you blame for this fiasco? Omar Abdullah or the Central Government?
We blame both the Government of Kashmir and Central Government.
Your leader of the Opposition was stopped at Jammu airport recently. What message does the government want to convey thorough this act?
This is a conspiracy to hide the ground realties. This is a shame that the Leader of Opposition was not allowed to go to the place where our sovereignty has been questioned.
This problem is spreading to other districts of Jammu from the valley…
Definitely, this is a serious problem.
So what is the BJP’s take on this?
Strict and immediate action should be taken to quell this problem.
Do you think that it is a conspiracy to disrupt ongoing Amarnath Yatra ?
We can’t negate this possibility.
In this Monsoon Session, which bills are you going to support?
We will support Food Security Bill and Land Acquisition Bill with certain amendments.
Some people allege that there is a tacit understanding between the Congress and the BJP to pass the Food Security Bill?
No, there is no question of any understanding. In reality, this is not a new bill. During Vajpayeeji’s government, we had started ‘Antyoday’ scheme, in which wheat was given at Rs 2 per kg and rice for Rs 3 per kg. The present bill is not like that one, but any scheme which is for the poor, will always have the support of the BJP, even if it doesn’t yield any direct benefits for people.
How do you see Food Security Bill?
I am in firm belief that the Congress which ruled this country for nearly 55 years has brought the country to such an extent that 67 per cent people are still in need of food security. It is very unfortunate, but we can’t ignore those who are in dire need of food.
Is there any plan of BJP to announce Narendra Modi as a Prime Ministerial candidate before the 2014 general elections?
We will decide it in BJP’s Parliamentary board’s meeting. Believe me; we will clearly give the decision when the time comes.
Does the RSS wants Narendra Modi as Prime Minister?
The RSS generally does not interfere in these matters and what they want is not known to me.
Why has Modi been projected more than Shivraj Chauhan, when both are popular Chief Ministers and known for their development models?
Whatever survey reports are coming they are projecting him as more popular leader. We are just reflecting the people’s mood. Also he is senior among the Chief Ministers’ of BJP.
Is it only seniority or being ahead in development?
No, no. Every state has its own socio-economic condition and on that basis only development is done. There is no logic of getting ahead in development. This is not a race where one is in front and another in the back.
A few days back, Modi had declined to wear a skull cap, whereas recently Shivraj Chauhan wore one. Is it a conscious party decision that one will wear and other will decline?
This is not an issue for debate.
Will there be any new alliance in NDA?
Yes, there are possibilities of having pre-poll and post-poll alliances.
Which party will come on board post-poll?
Obviously, these things cannot be disclosed.
You have recently merged Subramaniam Swamy’s Janata Party into the BJP, even after having voices of differences within the party. What were your reasons for that?
Subramaniam Swamy has always believed in our ideology. He was in the Jana Sangh and then in the NDA. So, after getting his party’s proposal for the merger, we accepted it.
What will be his role in BJP?
He was President of the Janata Party, so obviously he will have an important role.
Will the BJP give him a special role in coming elections? Will you take him in your Office-bearer Committee, or will you give him the post of secretary in your party?
Obviously, he will have a role in elections. He will come into the national executive committee. A leader, so senior, cannot be given a secretary’s post. Anyway, it is to be seen how he fits in the scheme of things. We will see to
A large section of Muslim, Dalit, OBC voters are not with the BJP, so how are you planning to win the 2014 general elections?
Who says that these sections don’t support us? We have had an OBC Chief Minister earlier, we still have. Narendra Modi is also an OBC leader. We also have support of the backward community and minorities. I believe that if we don’t have support of these sections, then the BJP wouldn’t have become a party of such a big political stature.
Are you considering bringing Navin Patnaik back into the NDA fold?
This question should be put to him, not me.
Are you in talks with Nitish Kumar?
No, we are not.
Recently, Amit Shah has raked up the ‘Ram Temple’ issue. Is the BJP going back to its core issues?
He was there only for offering prayers. Every Hindu would like to erect a temple at the place where he worships. He just prayed for that in front of Ramlala. This holds true for every religion.
After Modi’s elevation, it seems that the BJP is bringing it’s core issues of ‘Hindutva’ and ‘Ram Temple’ to the fore?
When we talk of core issues, we stand by the ideology of our party. Talking of core issues, does not mean that we will differentiate between people.
What will be the agenda of the BJP in the 2014 general elections?
We are in the process of making our agenda. We have made an election manifesto committee for the purpose.