Home NEWS Development will be our election plank: Prakash Javadekar

Development will be our election plank: Prakash Javadekar

Development will be our election plank: Prakash Javadekar

Development will be our election plank: Prakash Javadekar

BJP Telangana State election in-charge Prakash Javadekar. , Photo Credit: RAMAKRISHNA G.

Former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Prakash Javadekar has been camping in Telangana of late to bring order to the party divided between veterans and newcomers, to finalise candidate selection and fine-tune the campaign for the forthcoming Assembly elections as the BJP State election in-charge. In this exclusive interview with V. Geetanathhe explains the party’s strategy.

What is your assessment of the current political scenario in Telangana?

Politics has changed a lot in the Telugu States post bifurcation. We were part of the Telangana movement but the basic premise is the same. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an untainted leader with credibility and poor people across the country identify with him and his work. His schemes has had a tremendous impact, and the whole country has changed in the past nine years, thanks to houses for the poor, health insurance and toilets. In Telangana itself, there are 50 lakh ‘Mudra’ scheme beneficiaries among small businesspersons.

Will you be depending on Mr.Modi’s image and popularity alone?

Mr.Modi is the main asset for us. Telangana has peculiar politics because people voted Chief Minister K.Chandrasekhar Rao to power in 2014 out of gratitude and again in 2018, because of welfare schemes. But, now his regime is like UPA’s second term — reviled by people because of family rule, corruption, and empty promises. How many have benefitted through schemes like Dalit Bandhu or BC Bandhu? There is no unemployment stipend.

What makes you think BRS is on weak ground this time?

There is tremendous anger against KCR’s family rule and corruption. There is tremendous anti-incumbency against the BRS MLAs. People have noticed the assets being amassed by them, from houses to cars, over the past few years. It is essentially anger against the MLAs and KCR this time.

What do you think of your party’s chances?

We have a vote base here. There is tremendous goodwill in Greater Hyderabad and we will get higher percentage of votes. We got 20% vote in the last Parliament elections, and this time we will get much more. Our effort is to get the same for Assembly elections too. We are going to have a robust election programme and will come out a manifesto for Telangana. We are confident of good results.

What will be your election plank— Hindutva or development?

Our plank is going to be development, development and development. Mr.Modi’s welfare schemes are greater than KCR’s. We have delivered housing for the poor across many States, health insurance under Ayushman Bharat, provided subsidised gas connections and through Jan Dhan accounts, pensions and scholarships are directly credited into beneficiary accounts. We have not increased fertilizer prices. For the first time, there has been higher growth and lower inflation.

When will you announce the list of candidates for the Assembly polls?

It will take another 20 days. Usually, our party declares candidates one month before the elections but Telangana is last in the line of State elections like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. We have sought applications and held discussions with district leaders and others. A list with our opinions will be sent to the Central leadership for a decision. Winnability will be the main criteria.

Have you managed to narrow down differences between newcomers and veterans?

We don’t discriminate between old timers or newcomers. People are coming on their own to join our party. Everyone will be respected and given work. There is no special treatment given to anyone. I saw no tension among them. There is now a dialogue among them as they all belong to the BJP.

What are your views on the widespread perception about an understanding between BJP and BRS?

It is a deliberate misinformation campaign undertaken by the Telangana Congress and its president, A. Revanth Reddy. BRS is also happy with the perception. Congress and BRS are two sides of the same coin with family and corruption being the common features. They have worked together in the past and even voted against the Modi government in Parliament. We are fighting this government. Twice, our Union Minister Kishan Reddy was treated quite brutally by the police here.

But, those from your own party had voiced concern about the Centre not acting on the “most corrupt” government here, isn’t it?

One should think before speaking or wrong perceptions will emerge. It is a complete misconception that the government runs investigative agencies. Agencies must be free to do their own work. You need documents, proof and leads. The new law which is coming up will fast-track the process; then people will change their perception.

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