Will Win Karnataka for BJP
What is your plan of action as the BJP state president of Karnataka? Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP All India President Amit Shah have given me a target—come back to power in Karnataka. That is my responsibility. Our present position is not good. We have only 47 MLAS, in nine districts (out of 30) we have no representatives, in 13 we have only one MLA. My target is to concentrate where we are weak like Mandya, Ramanagaram, Kolar, Hassan (JDS- dominated districts) and win 150 seats (out of 224). For the next two years, I don’t have any other work except sitting in the office for three days and touring the state for three to four days.
ON CHIEF MINISTERSHIP They (PM and Shah) have made it very clear that they have made me the state president only to make me the next chief minister of the state. They didn’t want any confusion in this matter
You will turn 75 by 2018. Won’t that make you eligible for the margdarshak mandal? There is no question of it. They (PM and Shah) have made it very clear that they have made me the state president only to make me the next chief minister of the state. They were initially planning to make someone else the president and announce my name as the chief minister. They didn’t want any confusion in this matter so they have made me the party president also.
Any plan to engineer defections in Karnataka like what was done in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand? In politics, it depends on the situation at that moment, whether in Karnataka or any other state. If members of the ruling party say they don’t want to be with it and want to go with others, then there will be another government. It is quite natural and cannot be prevented by anyone in a political system. It is too early to say anything about Karnataka, but I don’t rule it out. Nobody is defecting from the BJP.
The state government says Maharashtra got more drought funds than Karnataka The Centre has released .₹ 1,500 crore for drought relief. He (Siddaramaiah) has not spent more than .₹ 400 crore. The PM has sent another team now to assess the situation. Whatever facility our state government wants the Centre is willing to give. We have no step-motherly attitude. Be it railways, national highway or power sector we are making huge achievements . But Siddaramaiah is not willing to make use of it.
Do you think Maharashtra can do better in dealing with the drought? There are nine states in the country currently struggling with drought. My suggestion to all of them is go for desilting of your tanks and store water. Make it mandatory for all those who have borewells to grow fodder.
Baba Ramdev said he would like to behead anyone who doesn’t chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai. Being born and brought up in this country and raising a clamour against Bharat Mata Ki Jai is an unforgivable crime. Can we doubt our own mother? Can we discuss about belief and trust with regard to her? Discussing Bharat Mata Ki Jai, for the first time after all these years of Independence is insulting. He (Ramdev) has said it because of anger that this kind of situation has come about. That is his personal opinion. But it is true.
Will the BJP government go for a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya anytime soon? The Centre will take the correct decision at the right time. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has asked for a bill to be brought in Parliament. They have their own agenda. How the BJP responds to it depends on the situation.
The PM has faced a drop in popularity in recent times and is being called anti-farmer and anti-student The entire world is appreciating him. In New York, the UNO is celebrating Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. The PM has projected him to that extent. Yogasana is one part of what he is doing but this is the other side. The PM ensured for the first time that the Lok Sabha discussed Babasaheb Ambedkar for two days. This shows the kind of concern he has for the SC/ST and backward classes. For the first time, the PM is talking of village, farmer and the farm labourer. He has also allocated the maximum amount of funds for them. There is no question of being anti-farmer. As for being anti-student, you cannot take a small incident and see it in that light. Youth across the country are appreciating the PM.
What are BJP poll prospects in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu? We are trying to improve our position in all these states. We will win Assam.
The Congress has taken PM’s campaign advisor Prashant Kishore in an attempt to win UP. Is that a matter of worry? I don’t think Prashant Kishor will make any difference to the Congress prospects in UP. We have got the maximum MPs there and we will work hard day and night.
There are still two pending cases of corruption against you Yes there are two cases still pending against me. One is almost reaching a conclusion. I have always believed in the judiciary. I have not done anything wrong. I am certain I will get justice and come out clean in the remaining cases also. (InterviewedbySowmyaAji)