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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Chhattisgarh's food law better than Centre’s: Raman Singh

Ejaz Kaiser, Hindustan Times   September 01, 2013
First Published: 23:45 IST(1/9/2013) | Last Updated: 09:49 IST(2/9/2013)

Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh faces a tough political challenge as he tries to score a hat-trick in the assembly elections this year. Reposing confidence on Modi’s style of functioning, Singh believes good governance only can bring people closer.

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Excerpts: 

Will Centre’s food scheme help Chhattisgarh and damage the political gains you expected through your state’s food security law?

No way, in fact the Centre’s scheme would do more harm than good to the people of Chhattisgarh. Our food law and scheme is a generation ahead of the Central act in terms of entitlements, reach and cost. Food security is a serious business. It should not be connected to electoral gimmicks.

Should Narendra Modi relinquish his position as CM so as to devote more time to the party? Are you comfortable that such a leader, with a riot stain, is being pitched as the PM candidate?

 Modiji is a phenomenal leader with tremendous potential. He is effectively contributing as the chairman of BJP election campaign committee.  Modiji has to decide how he wants to utilise his time and efforts. The propaganda of opposition parties is quite evident against Modi who couldn’t be challenged by them through other ways. He became chief minister for the third consecutive time with support from every section of the society.

If BJP wins in the state you will score a hat-trick. Will that raise your political stature like  that of Modi?

In our party, everyone has their own leadership style. Modiji is a very senior leader and we all look up to him.

During the yatra didn’t you reach out to people through freebies?

Welfare schemes are part of the manifesto.

Will the incident of Congress leaders killed in Bastar attack spoil your party’s chances this time with the tribals?

The Bastar incident was very unfortunate and evokes grief in me. I made conscious efforts to improve the conditions of tribals. Their support for us will remain.

Will the Congress infighting help your party to emerge strong?

Congress infighting is none of our concern. We are seeking positive votes on account of our performance.

Political analysts cite people’s resentment against some ruling party MLAs and ministers that might lead to anti-incumbency?

I don’t find any anti-incumbency factor. Merit and winnability would be the criteria.

Has your government failed to deal with Maoists issue?

We inherited the Maoist problem due to gross neglect of the area for the last 3- 4 decades. During my tenure efforts were made to establish rule of law. ‘Rapid development’ and ‘strong action’ remain our two-pronged strategy.

Do political yatras help in garnering votes? The Congress campaign against you remained aggressive through kalash and parivartan yatra?

I am overwhelmed with the tremendous response the yatra has been getting. It has also got people’s feedback. As for parivartan or kalash yatra the turnout itself speaks volumes.

Any political compulsion for citing conspiracy in the Asaram case?

No. The government should ensure free and fair investigation. Law should take its own course.

Congress alleges poor performance and corruption in central schemes like MGNREGA, PMGSY, NRHM or FRA.

State Congress complains that senior ministers from Delhi appreciate our performance. Various central ministries praised the state  government for doing exceedingly well. So, the allegations are nothing but politics.


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