?I have served well?
The prestige of Union Minister for Textiles Syed Shahnawaz Hussain is at stake in Kishanganj. Shahnawaz speaks to RA Khan ‘Rahi’ about the mood of the voters and his prospects in the election
What are your poll prospects, considering that your rivals have been alleging you did not keep the promises made to jute-growers?
I have not broken the promises. I laid the foundation stone of a jute mill at Lahra-Seemalbari and its construction is going on. Hopefully, the mill will start functioning soon.
But the electorate are not satisfied, as the support price of jute has been fixed at a paltry Rs 700 although Rs 3,000 per quintal was promised. Besides, you had promised to start a government-run jute mill, but the Sharda Group of mills, a private company, has begun fencing work of the mill premises.
As you know, all the government mills are ‘sick’ and there is no provision of new mills to be opened. Hence, a private company has been approached. But, I assure you the prospects of the farmers and jobless youth will not be marred. The support price of jute has been fixed at a minimum of Rs 700 and maximum Rs 1900 as per quality. It may be revised further.
What do you have to say about the dissatisfaction brewing among the voters due to the broken promises of bringing about a ‘storm of development and spreading a vast network of industries in the area’. Kishanganj still stands out as a zero or no-industry district in Bihar?
Well, my voters are satisfied with the pace of work done. I admit not much could be achieved, but a project involving a whopping sum of Rs 900 crore is on the cards and I shall translate the dreams of the electorate into reality if I am returned to parliament for the second consecutive term. Besides, industries need adequate power supply to function properly, but the Bihar government has taken the state back to the lantern age. As such, the industries are not flourishing.
Which way do you think the minority votes will tilt? Do you think the community will support you despite the genocide in Gujarat?
The minorities don’t treat the BJP as untouchables any longer. They need security, education and employment. All this is possible only under the stable governance of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.