Let Rahul prove with evidence even one case of corruption in Gujarat: Vijay Rupani

In an interview to HT, Gujarat CM Rupani stresses on not following the politics of appeasement in the upcoming polls and shares his thoughts on the anti-BJP mood in the state.

assembly elections Updated: Nov 19, 2017 23:48 IST
Gujarat chief minister Vijay R Rupani releases a coffe-table book on Prime Minister Modi titled 'The Making of a Legend', in Ahmedabad on November 17. (PTI Photo)

A cricket enthusiast and a Kishore Kumar fan, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani told Hindustan Times’ Smriti Kak Ramachandran that the perception of anger over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) amid the states’
trading communities will not dent the BJP’s performance. Excerpts from an interview:

Q: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said corruption is flourishing in BJP-ruled Gujarat.

A: People make fun of Rahul Gandhi. As for corruption, I call him gappidas (who tells lies). Let him prove with evidence even one case of corruption in Gujarat.

Q: Considering the BJP talks of women’s reservation and empowerment, shouldn’t more women be given tickets to contest?

We will not follow the policy of appeasement; in the natural course, all should move ahead.

Q: BJP has overlooked its own cadre to accommodate those who join in from other parties.

...Yes, but those candidates (from the Congress who have been given tickets) are the ones who were winning even when there was Modi wave. We never won those seats.

Q: There is an anti-BJP mood among communities; the Patidars are angry, the Dalits, the tribals, the Muslims are not happy.
A: The trading communities are angry over the GST roll out.

It is wrong to say that the Patidars and the OBCs are angry with the BJP. This campaign was launched by Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor in their role as Congress agents. And now they stand exposed.

Q: What about Dalits? The Una incident left the community feeling vulnerable.

A: The Una incident coincided with the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and it was used by Jignesh (Mevani) as a means to discredit Prime Minister Narendra Modi and show the BJP in poor light. After that there have been no Dalit andolans. Also, we have taken stern steps against the perpetrators of the Una attack.

Q: There is no change in the sentiment of the Muslims against the BJP. Why have you not been able to win their confidence?

We do not believe in the politics of appeasement. Issues such as Triple Talaq have created awareness among Muslim women. After Godhra (2002 riots) there have been no communal tensions in Gujarat.

First Published: Nov 19, 2017 23:31 IST