If Raman Singh wins these assembly polls, he will be the only BJP leader, besides Modi, to do so three times in a row. In a candid chat with Ejaz Kaiser the Ayurvedic doctor-turned-politician spoke about the party’s poll-preparedness, its tribal support and the Maoist threat.
Are you ready for the elections?
We are all set. Our aim is score a hat-trick. Every election is a challenge but this one is going to be three times more challenging.
So there is no threat?
No way. This government gained the confidence of people through development initiatives. We delivered more than what we promised in our manifesto. The opposition does not stand a chance.
Do you think populist declarations work?
We seek pro-incumbency votes on the basis of pro-poor, pro-farmer, pro-SC/ST work. The government connects with the people through welfare and development measures.
The Maoist attack in Darbha earlier this year wiped out 20 Congressmen. Are you scared that the opposition Congress will benefit from the sympathy wave?
I refuse to evaluate a tragedy like this in terms of political gains or losses. Ultimately, good governance decides the fate of any party in election time.
The Chhattisgarh government could not do anything to check the Maoist problem?
Maoism is a national problem and needs to be tackled through joint efforts. Chhattisgarh has witnessed substantial decline of casualty figures and landmine blasts. Violence is a reaction to our sustained and proactive anti-Maoist operations.
Is the tribal support for BJP dwindling?
I don’t think so. I was overwhelmed by the huge turnout of tribals during my Vikas Yatra. The tribals of Bastar will support us again. I am confident.
Will the Modi factor work in Chhattisgarh in this assembly elections?
We will definitely contest on our achievements, but Modiji’s pan-Indian appeal will boost our performance. Other star campaigners of the party will also be invited to speak to the people.
Will your son, Abhishek, join politics and seek a ticket?
I leave it to the party to decide.