BJP and Congress would like 2014 to be a contest between them with regional parties edged out. Varghese K George spoke with Rajnath Singh, President, BJP about the key issues.
What will be the main issues for your party?
Inflation, corruption and governance are the main issues. Security- both internal and external - will also be taken up in our campaign.
What is the biggest the challenge that you face in this election?
We have to maintain the enthusiasm of the cadre. We have set in motion a dialogue with our cadre. We are getting feedback from more and more people.
No party seems to want an alliance with the BJP. Do you have a crisis of credibility or reliability?
There is no reason to fear the BJP or it politics. BJP’s political thought is not guided by considerations of caste, creed or religion. Our ideology does not discriminate between people. The foundation of BJP was based on the ideology of integral humanism.
But the BJP is perceived as hostile by many. Minorities, for instance. Why?
Our opponents – particularly the Congress - have been successful in creating this perception - that we are against Muslims etc. That is just not true.
Overcoming this perception will be a big challenge?
Yes. It is a challenge. And I admit that it will take time, but we will certainly be successful in overcoming that. The truth will prevail, and the truth is that the BJP has no prejudice against any community or caste.
Certain statements from Narendra Modi have given rise to suspicion that the BJP is trying to polarise voters on religious lines — such as ‘I am a Hindu nationalist.’
Not at all. We consider Muslims also as nationalists. Christians and Sikhs also for that matter. All are nationalists. That statement by Modiji was misinterpreted.
So Hindutva is not on the agenda?
Insaaf and Insaniyat – justice and humanism– will be the overriding themes of our politics.
Do you expect complete support from Mr LK Advani?
Yes, absolutely. The country is going through a very bad phase, and we are united in our attempts to unseat the Congress. Who else understands it more than Advaniji, who is not merely our leader, but our guardian and guide too.