Girish Bapat, The guardian minister for Pune district(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Girish Bapat, The guardian minister for Pune district(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Our concept of Hindu Rashtra is all-inclusive, says Girish Bapat

The guardian minister for Pune district was interacting with Team HT on Friday when he touched upon many issues, including his achievements in the last five years and his priorities for the city.
Hindustan Times, Pune | By Team HT
UPDATED ON APR 06, 2019 04:59 PM IST

“Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) concept of Hindu rashtra is all inclusive and we are committed to it,” said Girish Bapat, the party’s nominee for Pune Lok Sabha seat.

The guardian minister for Pune district, Bapat was interacting with Team HT on Friday when he touched upon many issues including his achievements in the last five years and his priorities for the future.

When asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan ‘Sab ka saath sab ka vikas’ contradicted the RSS-BJP’s call for ‘Hindu Rastra’, Bapat said, “When we say Hindu Rashtra, it means everyone including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs living in India. My idea of Hindu Rashtra does not mean an assertion of Hindu rituals,” he said.

The BJP leader who has risen from the grassroots in Pune said in his 45 years of public life he has never discriminated against anyone on the basis of caste, creed or race.

The Lok Sabha elections in Pune on April 23 will be Bapat’s 10th election. He has been Member of Legislative Assembly for five terms.

Bapat said projects like Metro rail, river rejuvenation, Smart City, highway widening and LPG gas pipeline were some of the big ticket achievements of his government.

“While a lot has been done by our government, many things will be carried out in next five years,” he said while expressing confidence of a victory. The BJP leader is locked in a straight fight against Congress nominee Mohan Joshi.

If elected, Bapat said, his top priority would be to improve Pune’s transport situation and traffic congestion.

When asked about his opposition to the police drive on helmets by two-wheeler rideers, he said, he was not against helmets but wanted an exemption on helmets in the heart of the city where vehicles move at a snail’s pace. “Therefore my suggestion is to implement the rule strictly where the speed is normally high and leave out the Peth areas of Pune where vehicles don’t move fast,” he said.

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