Monday, October 31, 2011

Teekhi Baat_Nitin Gadkari_Prabhu Chawla/IBN7, October 29, 2011

In an exclusive interview BJP National President Nitin Gadkari on Teekhi Baat for IBN 7, says that he does not force any alliance with BJD in Orissa, and only elected representatives and sitting chief ministers would be the Prime Ministerial candidate.

PC: Tell me one thing, from the time you have become president, I have even read in newspapers, that you have been running away from Delhi. You fear Delhi, its politicians, its politics, Is this true.

NG: This is not true. I don’t fear anybody. I don’t fear Delhi, politicians or media because there I don’t have an intention to earn something in future. I want to good work for the party. And there can be a mistake from my side, and if there is one, please understand that it is a bona fide mistake.

PC: Why do you run away from Delhi, you are in Delhi for a very brief time.

NG: When do I run away from Delhi, now I am roaming all over the country, sometimes I come home, hence my headquarters is Nagpur. And I am travelling in Uttar Pradesh and other places. I am in Delhi for three four days in a week.

PC: You said that your headquarters is in Nagpur; otherwise 11 Ashoka road is your political headquarter.

NG: That is the headquarter, but am a resident of Nagpur. Here I work for various projects, I have an interest in works related to rural and agriculture sector. But I am now adjusted to Delhi and I don’t run away from Delhi.

PC: Delhi bhaa gayee aapko

NG: Sab Dilli waalon ko bhagaa doonga main, Dilli se bhaagonga nahi (said in a lighter vein)

PC: You had said that you will not become a member of Rajya Sabha, suddenly you said that you will contest Lok Sabha elections, that too from near Nagpur.

NG: See, the first thing is that, I had decided that I will not take the Rajya Sabha route after becoming the president. Because, generally one takes the Rajya Sabha route after becoming president. Behind this, I had a thinking that I don’t want to ask any ticket and the party has given too much to me for strengthening the organisation, hence I will work for the organisation. And hence, in my tenure as president, I don’t want to take the Rajya Sabha route. I had said it, and will not go. But many times there is discussion in the media that I am not elected by the people, by which I was hurt. Then I felt one day that I have to fight elections. Otherwise, I am already in public life, work in elections of MLA and MP’s and am present every time in main campaigning for elections. This time I decided that I will go among the people and fight elections.

PC: Because I remember you had ran for MLA elections once.

NG: I was 26 years old and fought for the first time. But in the constituency that I am elected, there are 1.70 lakh voters.

PC: You say that public say that president should come from among the people hence you are fighting elections. But there is talk that you are fighting elections as you see yourself among the many prime ministerial contenders among the BJP that is one more horse in the race.

NG: I am not the prime ministerial race at all, I have no such desire in my heart, don’t want to become.

PC: If the party wants to make you then what will you do.

NG: No the party will not make, neither have I wanted to be.

PC: How do you know that the party will not make you?

NG: This issue is not on my agenda and if anybody wants to make me (Prime Minister), then I will tell them don’t get into this issue, I don’t want to become.

PC: But now days you can also become prime minister while you are Rajya Sabha, also dream of becoming a prime minister while you are in the Rajya Sabha. Then what is the issue, even you can.

NG: No, I am not talking about Rajya Sabha or Lok Sabha. I represent a party and culture, in which I am a common worker, people who have devoted their lives for their thoughts and principles. They are Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay. I saw Bharaoji, Balasaheb Deorasji closely and Nanaji Deshmukh’s life. Hence I feel I should devote my life for party, organisation and poor people. And there are many people in politics, I will stand behind whoever is working, will stand by whoever is the prime minister.

PC: There was one interview in a newspaper where you said you are mediocre, did you?

NG: I said.

PC: How did a mediocre person become the national president of national party?

NG: I don’t know, ask people who made (me president).

PC: How will you take the party ahead if you are mediocre?

NG: Please see, I always say that I was a small worker who used to stick posters.

PC: He cannot be mediocre, poster sticking party workers have become prime minister?

NG: See, I never came to Delhi, I have no experience of working with big leaders. It is true that I started work by pasting posters, distributed fliers. And hence I have no hesitation in calling myself a common worker. And the second point is that I will call myself a common worker. I say that respect should not be demanded it should be commanded. If I deserve it, I will get it.

PC: Hence, you think that even while you are mediocre, you will be in a condition where people will respect you.

NG: Sir, I will not talk whether people will do or not. But I will surely say one thing, the was with self confidence and positive approach I have worked in past 18 months, today the situation of party is very good. And the party will certainly be in power in 2014, and that is the condition the party is now. Rest, whether it is good or bad, and how am I, that people like you have to say.

PC: Hon. President, you said that the party is in good situation now. A party whose half a dozen ministers are in jail, a party whose former chief minister is in jail and the others are in line in the state.

NG: Which half a dozen ministers are in jail?

PC: four are already in Karnataka, and action may happen against two three.

NG: Which are in jail, please tell the names.

PC: Subramanim, he is in jail, action initiated against Ashokji, two Reddy brothers are in jail.

NG: Not two Reddy, there is only one Reddy (in jail). Let me tell you one thing, in our party there is zero tolerance for corruption. Party will not bear corruption or any leader or individual. Let me tell you one thing, all the talk going on in the country today, is not happening in an independent, impartial and fair way. Tell me one thing, Lokayukta gave a report in Delhi, there is Shunglu committee report against Sheila Dikshit and his party ministers, why does the Congress party not initiate action, please tell me.

PC: Should I ask you a related question

NG: Please ask.

PC: What did you party do against Sheila Dikshit

NG: Protests.

PC: You did it one day and then forgot.

NG: Not one time, we protested many times.

PC: You people give statements everyday against Chidambaram but not once against Sheila Dikshit.

NG: Delhi Pradesh unit protested outside her house.

PC: For one day.

NG: There is no sensitivity left in the Congress party. Even after allegations of corruption, Soniaji and Congress party say proudly, that their party will not tolerate corruption. What don’t you ask Soniaji that why didn’t she take action after Sheilaji’s name cropped up in the Shunglu committee report. The Teekhi baat that you do with us, you don’t get that change to do it with Soniaji.

PC: You leaders and spokespersons in Delhi attack Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram, not Soniaji.

NG: Certainly, we do.

PC: Tell me the last instance when both leaders of opposition attacked Soniaji.

NG: I said, I am the party president. I am saying that ‘yah maa – beton ki party hain’.

PC: Day before yesterday you attacked the first time.

NG: No, I have done it many times.

PC: Who runs the government according to you, Manmohan Singh or Soniaji.

NG: The god runs the government.

PC: It means you don’t agree on both of them.

NG: Manmohan Singhji is a decent man, he has belief on god, the government is running, that is why he is running it, that is what the people are thinking.

PC: BJP leaders don’t worry about their party workers. You said that you will remove the chief minister after the Lokayukta report, you did. Advaniji said that he had given warning, it means you made him chief minister, experimented and then gave a statement against him. He went to Orissa and said that there can be a truce with BJD, the subject is open. What kind of politics is this, who decides policy in the party?

NG: Please see, the first thing is that what Advaniji said, he said while he was sitting beside me in Nagpur. Advaniji is our guide and philosopher. If he says anything, it is not wrong. But let me tell you, the Governor in a similar case, rejects demand for action against Congress minister.

PC: What I am asking you was his indirect action against Yedurappa right, the party was up in arms they said that they will not allow his yatra there or allow him to come.

NG: First of all, nobody said anything like this. Advaniji made no such comments about Yedurappa. The media interprets different meanings.

PC: On TV also we show wrong things, paste a picture and put words in the mouth (sarcastic remark)

NG: (smiles)

PC: What he said (Advaniji) was seen on television.

NG: The first point is, Advaniji said that party should have zero tolerance about corruption. Even I said this to you.

PC: Are you in agreement with the comment made on Yedurappa.

NG: The first thing is that Advaniji did not say anything wrong. Advaniji said that no mistake should happen and he had warned him about that earlier. What is wrong in this?. Let me tell you one thing, that time there was too much discussion about me speaking about bonafide and malafide mistake. Please see, regarding denotification of land, there were thousands of cases before this one.

PC: You said a good thing, malafide and bonafire, was this a malafide or bonafide mistake.

NG: it was a bonafide mistake.

PC: Hence you and the party are standing by him.

NG: Yedurappa is a respectful leader of the party. He has worked hard and toiled for the party. As far as cases against him are concerned, they are sub judice. After this the court will give decision, Yedurappa and party will abide by it. But terming him guilty before the decision, this is legally injustice against him and should not happen is what I said.

PC: If Yedurappa is such a big leader and for the first time any leader has got you such a big majority in south. If he is exonerated by the court, will you make him chief minister again?, or will say that the party will decide.

NG: If Yedurappa is cleared of the charges, he will again come back in the party leadership role, work for the party.

PC: You took away the post from him, because there were charges levelled against him, if charges are cleared then whether he has a right to be chief minister or not.

NG: The first thing is, if he is found not guilty, then certainly he has a right (to be chief minister). Party will think on this issue.

PC: Secondly, you did not say anything about the allies, I the question of alliance with BJD open.

NG: Advaniji has said that in national politics, that he does not rule out an alliance with Biju Janta Dal.

PC: But the local leadership is against it.

NG: But the first issue is that local, and the on ground condition is that there is a fight between us and BJD. And hence, under any condition, either before or after elections, we would not have any alliance with BJD, which is what we have decided and will stick to it. The possibility which Advaniji is talking about is not seen.

PC: It is being said that some people dream about being prime minister hence their connect with the party workers is lost.

NG: That is not the case, it would be unfair to say that about Advaniji.

PC: No, I am talking about some people.

NG: He said that in national politics, an alliance with BJD is not ruled out. He gave his view. But as far as we have decided about state politics in Orissa, according to that we will not have any alliance with BJD in the coming elections, not even in the Lok Sabha elections. This is what we have decided.

PC: But the question is that the middle level worker of your party, leader, they think that the big leaders, whom will not name, to increase their image, acceptability, compromise with Nitin Kumar on principles, even other people. Why does Nitin’s party afraid of Nitish’s party. No chief minister of your goes in Bihar, there is a ban.

NG: Please see, the first thing is that neither Nitish Kumar intimidates us, not do we get intimidated.

PC: You get intimidated, he doesn’t intimidate.

NG: No, no who said, neither he intimidates us, nor we get intimidated. This is a media story. See, Nitish Kumar’s leadership, personality is not intimidating. Nitish Kumarji and BJP, both have together formed a government in Bihar. Our government is running well, there is good development happening in Bihar. Our ministers are working well, the picture of Bihar has changed. Now to tell that they are intimidating us is wrong

PC: But your leaders praise him as if he is BJP’s prime ministerial candidate. Whenver there an opportunity Advaniji, Jaitleyji, Sushmaji praise him.

NG: Even I do, Nitish Kumarji has done good work. But tell me, has Advaniji, Arunji, Sushmaji ever say that Nitish Kumar will become Prime Minister.

PC: Are your chief ministers not working as well.

NG: Why are you deriving meanings out of what was not said. It is right to praise what is good.

PC: Is your Modi not a better chief minister than him.

NG: Modi also does good work. I have said many times that he is a role model chief minister. Many governments should replicate his good points.

PC: Your leaders don’t praise Modi as much as they do Nitish.

NG: What you are saying is not fair and discriminatory. Regarding Narendrabhai, in every interview I gave to you and also the national media, I have spoken well of him. See what is good must be praised about Narendrabhai, even good points of Nitish Kumar must be praised. We don’t fear to say what is good.

PC: Advani decided on his yatra, there was no decision in the parliamentary board, he asked you, started his yatra, this is the new way of working in the party.

NG: Advaniji did not announce his yatra.

PC: The party president did.

NG: I did.

PC: He said in a press conference that I have told this to the president. He announced in parliamentary board meeting that I have taken permission from the president.

NG: I have given permission after speaking to him. I cash of vote, our two innocent MP, even Sudheendra Kulkari was framed and arrested. But the corrupt people who bought 19 MP’s are going scot free, this happened on the directions of prime minister, Ahmed Patel and Soniaji. They were not questioned. Advaniji has been disturbed by the way cases have been registered against our innocent people. He said that even I am guilty because these people have done (sting operation) after asking me. He said that he should be arrested on the floor of the parliament.

PC: Advaniji yatra is no talked about in terms of jan chetna, black money.

NG: It is against corruption.

PC: There are elections in UP, already Rajnath Singh’s and one another yatra of Kalraji was announced, then Advaniji’s, the worker must be getting split then.

NG: First point, both yatras have different routes. Advaniji is not going on routes of Rajnathji and Kalraji yatra. No workers are getting split.

PC: The rath was being made from before the yatra was announced.

NG: No.

PC: Was it made for him or Rajnathji

NG: The order of the Rath was given after my permission. I was made in Pune and I had spoken on the specifics of how it will be made. Infact, Rajnathji and Kalraji said that they had some other idea than rath for the yatra.

PC: If there is some much fashion of yatra in the party, why did you not plan a yatra.

NG: Now, so many people are organizing yatras, even you are saying workers will have trouble, why should I organize a fourth yatra.

PC: But the president should have a yatra of his own.

NG: I go in all yatras as a yatri.

PC: But after all yatras also it seems that no allies are attaching themselves with you. No new ally is joining the party.

NG: After we get over 170 seats, all of them are ready to be in an alliance with us. Take it in writing from us.

PC: That is when you will get 170.

NG: 100 per cent, we will get above 200.

PC: You got a dream about this.

NG: I am ready for a bet, am Nitin Gadkari speaking.

PC: There are no muslims, minorities, no regional party is ready to stand with you except for Shiv Sena, who is not dependable.

NG: In the current political scenario. It’s not that we are roaming behind everybody for an alliance. Now we entered into an alliance in Haryana. Where we thought it is politically prudent we entered into an alliance. There is which state where we want to enter an alliance and the other party is not ready.

PC: A president’s success is seen by the electoral victories that he gets for the party. Now as you come from Maharasthra, tell me who do you like more NCP or Shiv Sena.

NG: First of all, we have an alliance with Shiv Sena. And we have won an election in Sharad Pawar’s bastion of Baramati recently. Our party is working well.

PC: In future will you alliance partner change in Maharasthra

NG: Now we have an alliance with the Shiv Sena. But there is not talk of alliance with NCP.

PC: What may happen in future?

NG: That Shiv Sena and BJP will decide together and then if both decide then we will have talks.

PC: How can Shiv Sena decide for you.

That is BJP and Shiv Sena together will decide on the third partner.

PC: Till now you are dependent on regional party Shiv Sena, the other regional parties are not with you. Do you have any talks with Jailalitha.

NG: We are not depending on anybody. Any political alliance is in interest of both the parties. And people who think that they have a benefit in the formation of government will support us.

PC: Are you doing for forging new alliance.

NG: I told you, alliance will be.

PC: On after 170 seats you think everybody may come to you.

NG: Either you like it or don’t like it. This is the ground reality of politics.

PC: Even I am agreeing that alliance partners will come to you if you manage to get 170 seats. But you have no slogan, leader or agenda, from where will the seats come.

NG: Tell me once state where Congress can win elections in the country.

PC: They have won 206 seats.

NG: You are one of the senior most journalists in the country, tell me one state where the Congress party can win well.

PC: People and media say in Punjab you will lose, even Orissa.

NG: Maharashtra is going to go out of the Congress party’s hands, In Andhra, where they have 33 MP’s, even three will not come again. In Tamil Nadu DMK and Congress are routed out.

PC: In Tamil Nadu Congress never had more than 8 to 10 seats.

NG: They were with DMK

PC: Even then they had only 14 seats

NG: The position changed.

PC: Tell me form where you will win.

NG: We will win in Uttar Pradesh, will increase our presence in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi,

PC: Where will you lose, in Karnataka?

NG: We are winning every election in Karnataka in the past two years. We even won the latest elections. Even after so much of allegations of criticism, we are winning every election. We won Zilla and Panchayat elections.

PC: You are saying you will get 170 seats in 2014. Who will be your leader for winning 170 seats.

NG: Tell me who will be Congress party’s prime ministerial candidate in 2014.

PC: I asked Digvijay Singh the same question the other day. But it is clear that their candidate is Rahul Gandhi.

NG: But he did not say it.

PC: But you and I know

NG: Then even for our party you and I know. The day we want, we will decide the leader of the party.

PC: A lot of people joke these days, Nitin Gadkari is losing personal weight to gain political weight.

NG: (Laughs)

PC: Because you have many candidates, but nobody to win elections.

NG: This is the party’s strength that people are discussing about our party’s would be prime ministerial candidate. This is the party’s strength that many of our people are capable of becoming prime minister.

PC: No, they themselves want to be. Because Atalji and Advaniji have been such big leaders hence people say that you have leaders capable to be prime minister. Because there is no ‘parivarvad’ in your party. Hence the question, after Atal Behari Vajpayee, Advaniji, after Advaniji, people say me, nobody took their names

NG: Nobody talks about himself, nobody has talked about himself. People discuss and we have many capable people. I tell you, when the right time comes, the party will decide at that very moment, we have no problems in deciding.

PC: Then you will take permission from RSS.

NG: There is no need for taking permission, we will take decision of our party.

PC: When you became president, there was discussion that you were appointed with the with the permission of RSS.

NG: This is wrong information. Please research, I am a product of vidyarthi parishad. I was not associated that much with Sangh, and when I met sarsanghchalak he said, “ yeh bill hamare naam se mat phadiye” Advaniji and other leaders had four names, my name was decided, the party decided it.

PC: When I interviewed Sarsanghchalak, he said that there are four leaders in Delhi, nobody of them will become president. That was the last interview he gave, then you became president, nobody among the four.

NG: No, after that there were four names, Narendrabhai, Manohar Parikar, Nitin Gadkari and Shivraji Chauhan. Shivraji and Narendrabhai were both chief ministers, then there were Manohar Parikar and Nitin Gadkar, the party chose my name from among this, that’s why I became.

PC: Now you took four names, somebody from these four can also become Prime Minister.

NG: Why not, they have capability and are working are good chief ministers. Narendrabhai is working good, even Shivrajji is working well.

PC: Hence, prime ministers should only be who has won elections, also for the party.

NG: Certainly. See, people in our party work for elections, fight elections, win elections and have the capability to be prime minister.

PC: So people who fight elections, Rajnathji fought, you say you will fight, Advaniji fought, Atal Behari Vajpayeeji fought, they have all contested and won elections. Hence, you are saying in 2014 there will be a prime minister who has fought elections and won elections for the party.

NG: Today all the contenders who will be prime ministerial candidates, will all fight lok sabha elections and also have the capability.

PC: But one who does not fight elections, he will not become prime minister.

NG: 100 he will fight.

PC: No I am asking people who will not fight, will not win.

NG: Why are you asking this.

PC: I am asking you a question, you please answer it. Does that mean a Rajya Sabha member can become prime minister according to you.

NG: You are talking about your friend.

PC: I am talking about nobody, I am asking the president. Today you attack Manmohan Singh

NG: Today who are in Rajya Sabha, even they will fight Lok Sabha elections and win it.

PC: So the president is saying that those who will not fight Lok Sabha elections, he is out of the prime ministerial race.

NG: See, the people will fight lok sabha elections. Its not about being outside the race, from Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha anybody can become prime minister. But all prime leaders will fight lok sabha elections this time.

PC: From them a prime minister will be chosen, you will bag 170 seats.

NG: Yes Yes.

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