Known for his outspokenness, Haryana health and sports minister Anil Vij’s loaded tweets have caused ripples in the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government recently. His stinging potshots at the bureaucrats are seen as an oblique criticism of the chief minister, who has, of late, tried to pacify him. Political circles are rife with reports that the 61-year-old BJP leader is miffed at not having been given heavy duty portfolios that he deserved as one of the senior most party leaders of the state.
Anil Vij ko gussa kyun aata hai ?
Wrong. Those who know me can tell you I am a happy and humour-loving person. But what irks me are lies, dishonesty and hypocrisy which is not uncommon among bureaucrats and some politicians.
You have been at the centre of a controversy for your tweets?
I mean well and always speak my heart out without any malice to anyone. I put my point of view and it does not bother me what others think about me or my views.
Are you upset only because you were not even informed about your department’s functions where CM ML Khattar was the chief guest.
My tweet was not double-meaning. These are two separate things: I thanked CM for his being there and I have already sought explanation from the officials who had not consulted or informed me beforehand about these functions. I have also asked them to be careful in future and keep me informed about all my departments’ functions.
Your tweets suggest that all is not well between you and the chief minister?
I speak with the chief minister almost daily. We have been friends for the past over 25 years. There are no differences of opinion with him. But I would like some officials to understand that it is a new government now and their old style of working would not be tolerated anymore.
What about your tweet on the Delhi assembly election results in which you said the BJP’s poor show was because of “imported leaders’’?
It was, and is still, my point of view.
Some call you temperamental and some others publicity hungry?
I only work for my departments and the government, and I work honestly. I do not bother what others say.
What are your grouses against the bureaucracy?
I hate the 68-year old system institutionalised by the previous Congress regime. The system of corruption, favouritism and sycophancy, be it by politicians or bureaucrats.
There is an impression that you are unhappy over not being given important portfolios despite being among the senior most MLAs?
I had never expected or demanded any such thing. I have always said that I am ready to work as a peon if the party wants.
Rumours are that if not given your due, you may leave the party and join AAP?
(Laughs) Rubbish. I have lived with the BJP and would also die as its member. firstname.lastname@example.org