BJP will investigate graft charges against Rawat govt if in power: Koshyari
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BJP will investigate graft charges against Rawat govt if in power: Koshyari

Votes to the Uttarakhand assembly will be counted on Saturday. Ahead of D-Day, BJP looks confident of a win, and its member of Parliament, Bhagat Singh Koshyari, could well become the next chief minister.

assembly elections Updated: Mar 11, 2017 01:29 IST
Anupam Trivedi
Anupam Trivedi
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand assembly elections,Exit polls,Counting
Former chief minister of Uttarakhand Bhagat Singh Koshyari at a BJP press conference in May 2016. (Sonu Mehta/HT Photo)

BJP MP Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s name is doing the rounds in the party circle as one of the probable chief ministerial candidates in the event of the party forming the government in Uttarakhand. In a tête-à-tête with the Hindustan Times, the former chief minister said if the party came to power, it would order an inquiry into the corruption charges against the Harish Rawat-led Congress government.

The MP from the Nainital further claimed that people’s anger against the Congress government, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma had helped the BJP in the assembly elections.

Here are the excerpts of the interview:

Q: If exit poll predictions are any indication, then BJP is going to win in Uttarakhand. Your take?

A: We are winning because of a couple of reasons. Law and order in the Himalayan state has deteriorated. Corruption is so widely prevalent that even chief minister was caught in a sting video. People were angry with Harish Rawat’s rule and they pinned hope on PM Modi. We were confident about our win from the very beginning. Modiji’s charisma and his positive approach helped us in a big way. It will reflect in the results.

Q: You were the CM for less than 6 months in 2001-2002. Do you feel you should get another chance now?

A: I am not a claimant for the chief ministerial post. The party has given me enough opportunities to serve it. I have also tried to give best to the party and the state. I get a lot of love and affection from supporters and people, and that’s the biggest asset for me.

Q: BJP raised corruption issues during the campaigning. Will the BJP probe the corruption allegations if it comes to power?

A: Definitely. The BJP government will look into the wrongdoings of Rawat government. Personally, I am against political vendetta. But in the interest of the state, the government will take corrective measures.

Q: Expectations from the BJP are going to be very high if it forms the government. How will the party handle the pressure?

A: The expectations this time are not as high as it were in 2001. But we will fulfil all the aspirations of the people. It helps to have a progressive government both in the state and at the Centre. Also , the financial health of the state is in doldrums. The youths are leaving hills in search of jobs. These are the priority areas which the new government must address.

Q: BJP opened its doors for turncoats much to the dislike of party workers. Does this worry you?

A: The concerns of party workers are obvious, but there is nothing to worry. In fact, several leaders from various parties joined the BJP even before the general elections in 2014. At times, we have to take strategic decisions (to make a way for turncoats). But once they are with us, they adopt party’s culture. No one can dare to even think of doing wrong under a BJP regime.

For live coverage of the Uttarakhand assembly election results, click here.

First Published: Mar 11, 2017 00:38 IST