Now a regular companion of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in his Jan Ashirvad Yatra, BJP national vice-president Prabhat Jha’s confidence about the party’s poll prospects in the state assembly elections stems from Congress’ lackluster campaign to a certain extent.
Here are excerpts of an interview with the senior BJP leader: realities. That’s why they are not willing to see the spontaneous response of people. As a reporter I covered at least 80 yatras, including that of late NT Ramarao’s. I am amazed how a simple man like Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who is not a spiritual leader and doesn’t have a face like Dev Anand, can pull such a large crowd. It’s not possible without charisma.
I am an ordinary party worker. Whatever the party leadership asks me to do, I complete it with the best of my capabilities. Jan Ashirvad Yatra is a super campaign of the party.
But, there are several other things like party meetings, campaigns in which Narendra Singh Tomar is involved. If all the leaders get in the Rath, then the party work would suffer. instead.
We had certain apprehensions before the yatra began, but now I see a gush of emotion for chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. That’s why I strongly believe that we are going to get more seats than what we had got in 2008.
Of course, we get a few complaints too here and there against the local leaders. The party leadership is getting feedback from workers, leaders and others. If we see any particular leader is not able to win the elections, he would not get ticket. But, the leader who can win the election would not be ignored by the party.
Congress leaders are hitting us below the belt and they want to win the elections by misusing the Central agencies like Income Tax and CBI. I know a senior officer in the CBI who is of joint director rank. He is relative of a senior Congress leader. Through him, the image of the BJP ministers and big leaders is being crushed.
Recently, two ministers Rajendra Shukla and Laxmikant Sharma had to move the court. I had to write to Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
Political fight should be done on the road, but the problem is there is a big vacuum in the Congress leadership after the death of Arjun Singh. I would like to know if in the past 10 years the senior leaders like Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath have visited the 50 districts of the state.
The fact is the Congress has not organised any agitation at the block and tehsil level. I think in MP, the Congress is going the same way as it met its fate in UP, Bihar and Gujarat.
We say our leader is Shivraj Singh Chouhan. People ask Congress leaders that who is their leader. There is no reply. My senior leaders allowed me to remain in MP and I am not attending Parliament.
For us, a BJP government for the third time in MP is more important, but the Congress leaders who are MPs continue to remain in Parliament.
This is the basic difference between the BJP and the Congress. I have learnt that the Congress leaders from Madhya Pradesh have had at least six meetings with Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. For, the leaders like Digvijaya Singh, Kantilal Bhuria and Ajay Singh cannot sit together in Madhya Pradesh.
Umaji is a national vicepresident and also an MLA from Uttar Pradesh. She has been chief minister too. Hence, any decision on her (role in Jan Ashirvad Yatra) may be taken only by the party’s central leadership. But, chief minister and she meet on occasions and she attends programmes in Madhya Pradesh too. Whenever there is any requirement, we would certainly request her.
As far as Modiji is concerned, he is our national leader. A national hero cannot be invited in each and every programme.All leaders will be present when the party holds a massive rally (in Bhopal) on September 25.