Ram Mandir is not a political issue but a sentimental issue, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Confident of the BJP retaining power in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh where Assembly polls are scheduled, Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi in an interview to Yojna Gusai says people will reject Congress’ destructive politics and the Ram Mandir issue should be resolved at the earliest for the national interest.
The election season has begun and many feel that the coming Assembly elections, especially in the “Hindi heartland”, are the toughest for the BJP this time as the result could impact the party’s performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
For us every election is important and we fight them seriously. If you see the BJP’s performance electorally, it has been on a rise, not just in the number of seats but also the vote and support base. Our party, its leadership and our poll plank — development for all — are the reasons why the BJP has formed the government in so many states and regions. If you see our party’s performance in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the last Assembly polls, where we were in power for more than two terms, it was clear that the people’s trust and faith in our party remained strong.
In Rajasthan, people ditched the Congress for BJP’s good governance and development. No matter what the opinion polls or poll pundits predict, the BJP will not only remain in power in these three states but will also perform exceptionally well in Telangana and Mizoram.
How are you so confident?
Fortunately or unfortunately, in four of the five states that are going to polls, the Congress is our main opponent. In the last four and a half years, this country has witnessed Congress’ destructive politics and how it tried hard to puncture the development agenda of the Narendra Modi government. Since day one, when the NDA government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi was formed, the Congress and its freelancers have been desperately trying to malign the government and the BJP over non-issues. But the people have trust and faith on Mr Modi and therefore, the BJP has been winning one state after the other since 2014. Every state and every region of the country wants development and not someone who indulges in destructive politics.
You are saying development is your party’s main poll plank, but reports suggest that the BJP is worried about the reaction in certain sections regarding the recent legislation to overrule the Supreme Court’s order on the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
It is the Congress and its freelancers who are trying to create confusion among people over the issue for political gains but they have failed in doing so. The Act and the recent amendment to it was to ensure equality for all and constitutional rights for all.
According to you, the Congress plays destructive politics but efforts are on by it to stitch together a grand alliance against the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The grand alliance is a dream, which can never turn into reality. How can you even think of stitching an alliance when you have more than half a dozen aspirants for the prime ministerial post and the so-called grand alliance in only in talks? Leaders of these so-called grand alliance come together only for photo sessions but in reality they have more disagreements than agreement. Their only aim is “Modi ko hatao aur kursi par baith jao” which they have been doing since day one. We all remember how the “award wapsi” gangs were unleashed by the Congress and its supporters within months of the Modi government coming to power at a time when the Congress-led UPA had left policy paralysis and rampant corruption for it. Not just their supporters in the country, some Congress leaders even approached Pakistan to seek their support to oust Mr Modi. But what they don’t know is that people of this country are aware of their aim, which they will never let them achieve.
You talked about “more than half a dozen PM aspirants” in the Opposition camp. But the Congress asserts that its president, Rahul Gandhi, will be the “natural candidate” for the post.
Forging an alliance is not in the Congress’ DNA. The so-called grand alliance is like a “bina band baaje ki baraat”. The only aim of the Congress is to either rule directly or through its remote control. Even though the BJP got full majority in 2014, our leadership took along every ally. You need a big heart and an open mind to run an alliance, which the Congress does not have.
Why does the Ram Mandir issue get highlighted every time the elections are nearing? Whether it is RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, the VHP or the BJP leadership, the issue, it seems, has become part of the campaign?
Ram Mandir is not a political issue but a sentimental issue. This issue is associated with the sentiments of hundreds and thousands of people of this country and we all believe that the issue should be resolved at the earliest in the national interest.
Another issue is Sabarimala and the recent judgment of the Supreme Court. Your party is facing criticism for politicising it for political gain in Kerala.
The BJP doesn’t do politics over such issues.
Both the BJP and the government had to face criticism over the #MeToo campaign involving one of your ministerial colleagues.
Well, the person concerned has not only made his stand clear but also resigned. I don’t think there is anything more to say on it.