The Three Choices
AMIT SHAH, DIGVIJAYA SINGH & MANISH SISODIA
Three parties. Three ideologies. Three outspoken leaders. The discussion between Amit Shah of BJP, Digvijaya Singh of the Congress and Manish Sisodia of the Aam Aadmi Party soon became what many had expected it to be—a no-holds-barred contest which started from Battleground Uttar Pradesh and veered into BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat.
The seating arrangement on stage was perhaps apt: Digvijaya and Sisodia were on one sofa and Shah on another. This loose alignment between the Congress and AAP, however, only highlighted how they are both playing catch-up to the frontrunners BJP in the perception game in the run-up to the elections. Here are some of the highlights from their pitched battle: Amit Shah If you see in the entire country, there is a trend towards Narendra Modi. One of the reasons is that during 10 years of UPA governance there has been inflation, there has been corruption and there has been insecurity among women. There are so many issues on which people are not satisfied and are very very angry… Since Modi was nominated the prime ministerial candidate, people have got some sense of optimism and now the entire country is united. Digvijaya Singh It is said that Narendra Modi does good governance. I would like to ask Amit Shah, is their secret for good governance a state where 32 police officers are in jail? Where the ministers are criminals? Show us any good governance module where one minister is in jail or tell us some secret about good governance where a minister, in spite of being convicted, is part of the Cabinet. Tell us the secret of this governance where debt is more than Rs 172,000 crore, whereas Gujarat was debt-free in 1995… This is what you call good governance? Amit Shah I would like to inform you that he (Digvijaya) is talking about me. I went to jail, yes. But Modi’s regime is not responsible for that. It happened due to the victimisation policy of the Congress. Whatever cases were filed by CBI, they are all fake.
Manish Sisodia I was in Gujarat for the last two days. I went to villages which are close to the national and state highways. What Modiji is saying over the last one year is not true. He has said that in the
last 12 years, Gujarat made huge progress. The fact is that it has been ahead in road connectivity for 25 years. About schools, yes, four rooms have been constructed. Do you think that four rooms are adequate enough to be called a school? What about the facilities or the quality of teachers? In Mehsana district, four rooms have been made in the name of school, but what about toilets? Teachers are being paid only Rs 5,300 on contract. You are developing the future of the country for this meagre amount? Amit Shah Whatever Manish is saying is not completely true. For four years, the teachers get a fixed amount and after that, when they become permanent, they get full salary. Moderator Is the fixed amount only Rs 5,300? Amit Shah Yes, and all of it is on paper. This is not a very new fact that you are telling the country.
Moderator Amitji, Manish and Arvind Kejriwal were in Gujarat, they went to Modi’s house also. Do you think that Delhi’s former elected chief minister did not have the right to meet the Gujarat Chief Minister and have a cup of tea with him? Amit Shah See, there are a few norms in public life. Kejriwal should have taken an appointment from the CM. When elections are around the corner, it is not advisable to talk with the opposition party and politicise it in front of the media.
(FROM LEFT) AMIT SHAH, DIGVIJAYA SINGH AND MANISH SISODIA