State govt has done a lot for farmers: BJP’s Rajasthan chief Madanlal Saini

BJP’s Rajasthan unit chief Madanlal Saini is confident of winning the assembly elections and has ruled out anti­- incumbency.

jaipur Updated: Jul 18, 2018 10:27 IST
Manoj Ahuja
Manoj Ahuja
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Madanlal Saini,Rajasthan BJP,BJP Rajasthan president
BJ’s Rajasthan unit president Madanlal Saini is confident of the party winning in the next assembly elections. (Himanshu Vyas/ HT Photo )

Madanlal Saini, the newly appointed president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rajasthan unit, spoke to Hindustan Times on a range of issues including its prospects in the next assembly elections, due b y the end of the year. “I don’t see any anti-incumbency,” Saini said.”...we are confident of winning the next elections.”

Edited excerpts from the interview:

Q. Farmer suicides in large numbers has been reported for the first time in the Hadauti region. What’s your take on this?

Farmers in Rajasthan are used to struggle and hard work. I am a farmer myself. When Shekhawati farmers do not commit suicide, then how can Hadauti farmers commit suicide?. We in Shekhawati have to pull out water from a depth of 500 feet. We are not able to sow the seeds many times. In Jaisalmer, there is no rain for eight years, but no one commits suicide. Some farmers might have died due to natural causes. The state government has done a lot for the farmers. We have bought garlic at fair price through a market intervention scheme.

Q.Some communities such as Rajputs and Gujjars are unhappy with the BJP. How do you plan to bring them back into the fold?

Rajputs and Gujjars have been associated with the party for the past many years. There could be some issues. We are in touch with them. They are nationalist. Their ancestors and families have been serving the nation since a long time. When it comes to the nation, these small issues don’t come in the way. After Modi ji became Prime Minister, India’s respect has gone up in the eyes of the world. It appears that our dream of making India a Vishwa Guru (world leader) has begun.

Q. There has been some factionalism in BJP and also reports of members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) and ministers getting into arguments and scuffles. Is it worrisome?

Some incidents are a media creation. Now if education minister has got into a heated argument with someone, was the media present?. No. Somebody told you that minister was speaking in a loud voice. That does not mean there was a row. At times, media doesn’t have full knowledge of the incident, but it has to dig up something.

Q. Is the party planning to deny election tickets to non-performing MLAs?

Getting a ticket is not a right. It is party’s decision based on the decision of the parliamentary board. We have to see the social equation and look at the work done by a particular MLA and it also depends on the feedback received from the people. We won’t give ticket to those who we think are going to lose.

Q. There is a perception that the chief minister (Vasundhara Raje) is arrogant and doesn’t meet people? What is your view?

The chief minister is a woman. You and I can meet anytime even if you are shaving or brushing your teeth. Sometime I meet people while washing clothes, but a woman can’t do that. So some time gets lost. Also, due to technology, things have become more complex than what was the case 20 years ago. This is true for all the states. The CM has been visiting different assembly constituencies and meeting the people. The party workers also meet her.

Q. How do you plan to tackle the anti-incumbency against the state government?

I don’t see any anti-incumbency. BJP is the largest party in the world. We have made members not only by giving missed calls but also followed it up with verification and proper training. We are probably the first party that has made its members aware about the party’s policy, ideology and where the party wants to go and where it wants to take the nation. We hold training camps in every block, district, division and the entire state...we are confident of winning the next elections.

Q. The BJP lost badly in the by-elections held in January. What went wrong?

There were some local issues. Sometimes when you have to give an exam and you are not feeling well, you are not able to perform well in the exam but that doesn’t make you a poor student. There were some current issues. We have gone through the reasons behind the defeat and also taken remedial actions. This loss cannot be linked to the coming assembly elections. We are confident of attaining the target of 180 plus set by chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

Q. People are still waiting for Rs 15 lakh to be transferred to their bank accounts (a promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi before the last general election when he said black money stashed away by abroad by Indians will be brought back and distributed) . Will such election promises hurt in the next elections?

Nobody gives cash, but arrangements have been made so that the poor have got benefits to the tune of Rs 15 lakh. Now, you cannot expect the party to give Rs 15 lakh to (industrialist Mukesh) Ambani (the richest person in Asia). I will give you the details. Under Modicare, if someone is sick, he or she gets Rs 5 lakh. Then there are other government schemes such as Bhamashah card (for women empowerment in Rajasthan), Rs 50,000 for girl child, Rajshree yojana (for a girl child’s education in Rajasthan) and many other schemes. So the poor have got Rs 15 lakh.

Q. The Congress has alleged that the state government failed miserably to fulfil its promise of 15 lakh jobs.

Jobs do not mean government jobs. We have given 2-3 lakh government jobs (over four years). Then, there have been other employment opportunities. If there is road construction, people get work, when industry is set up, people got jobs. The youth got trained through skill development workshops and got jobs. Some got interest-free loans of Rs 50,000 for setting up enterprises. If you do the total, we have given 15 lakh jobs.

First Published: Jul 18, 2018 10:27 IST