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‘(Letting Cong turncoats join) helps strengthen the party: BJP’s Shyam Jaju

BJP’s Uttarakhand in-charge Shyam Jaju says his party is contesting the assembly polls on development plank and would form government with a two-third majority. He tells Deep Joshi that some leaders quitting after being denied ticket would have no effect on the party’s poll prospects. . Excerpts from an interview

dehradun Updated: Feb 07, 2017 01:22 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Shyam Jaju said people in Uttarakhand are unhappy with Congress government because “chief minister harish Rawat couldn’t fulfill a number of schemes and projects he announced for the state”.(HT FILE)
Q: Several disgruntled members along with their supporters have left the party after being denied ticket in favour of Congress turncoats. Hundreds of cadres quitting the party would cost it heavily in the assembly polls.

A: It is a fact that cadres are not raised in a day. It takes years to prepare them. However, it is also a fact that whenever a worker leaves our party, he leaves alone and our cadres do not leave the party. Ours is a democratic party. So, we cannot close our doors on those who want to join us. Such a process also helps strengthen the party.

Q: But your party is facing rebellion after it obliged most Congress turncoats with tickets. The Congress also accuses the BJP of causing split in the ruling party. In fact, people are also unhappy with your party.

A: There is no rebellion in our party. It is the Congress that is facing rebellion. So, (Congress) leaders should do some soul searching. They should think over as to why so many of legislators quit that party. Similarly, the cabinet colleagues of the chief minister (Harish Rawat) left him. Those who served that party (Congress) for 40-45 years left it to join us. It is for them (Congress) seek answers to all such questions.

Q: The BJP often accuses the Congress of pursing dynastic politics. Hasn’t your party done the same thing by giving tickets to some of the Congress turncoats and their kin?

A: That party (Congress) is run by a family. Nobody other than a member of that family can become the president of that party. The members of that family have been leading the Congress for three generations. Such a party has no right to (accuse us of) pursuing dynastic politics. As far as the BJP is concerned, all the tickets were given purely on the basis of work not on the considerations like nepotism or dynasty.

Q: People in the state are unhappy owing to the massive cash crunch caused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to recall high value currency notes. There are reports that the BJP might not project him (Modi) as its face for the assembly election

A : People did face hardships owing to demonetisation yet they stood by the PM. In fact, it was the most courageous decision taken since Independence. Its (positive) results will soon start showing. The decision to demonetise the high value currency notes was not taken for (the benefit of) one class but for the benefit of the entire country. The move got full support of the people. In fact, our party (BJP) won all the elections held in the state post demonetisation.

Q: Will the Prime Minister be your party‘s face for the assembly elections?

A: Modiji is internationally recognised face of development. We have a number of capable leaders who can lead the state. There is no infighting in our party

Q: What will be your party’s poll-plank in the assembly election?

A: People are unhappy with this (Congress) government because the chief minister couldn’t fulfill a number of schemes and projects he announced for the state. Development of Uttarakhand would be our main poll plank.

First Published: Jan 28, 2017 20:10 IST