"Ram Mandir is not an election issue"BJP leader and former party president Rajnath Singh speaks to Teekhi Baat on IBN7.
PC: Your health is better now.
RS: It is better now.
PC: But party’s health does not seem all right.
RS: Party’s health is also all right. But it is true that the health of the nation is not allright.
PC: One does not understand who among your party is fighting elections in UP, recently Gadkariji said that you are not the chief ministerial candidate there.
RS: Whatever Gadkariji said he said after talking to me. Even earlier I had said that I am not the claimant for the chief minister’s post.
PC: Then what was the reason for the party president to say so, it means there was a problem somewhere.
RS: It is natural, people should not about this thing. Because people should not think that I am in the race.
PC: Like other leaders.
RS: Like leaders from all over the state. Now MLA’s will be elected, and they will elect their leader. But I am not in that race.
PC: This you told me earlier in Teekhi Baat, I am saying this for more than two and a half years. But even then in public and party workers there was this misconception that you may become the chief minister.
RS: BJP does not want to garner votes by spreading misconception among its party workers and people.
PC: But workers would say that their leader is Rajnath Singh.
RS: So what happens, if am in the central politics now, will our worker not take me as a leader.
PC: But you are a central leader and hence will be claimant for the prime minister’s post.
RS: I am not a claimant for the prime minister’s post.
PC: What do you feel about BJP, it has not policy, no slogan, no ideology.
RS: Prabhuji I want to ask you if BJP has no policy, no ideology or programme, then tell me which party in this country has policy, ideology and programme. BJP is the only party in the country which has its own policy, ideology and programme.
PC: You promised some things in UP manifesto. Uma Bharati is from Madhya Pradesh, you are sending her there to fight elections.
RS: She has been the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, but she has had very strong bonds with Uttar Pradesh. It cannot be said that Uma Bharati is from outside Uttar Pradesh. This nobody can say.
PC: If the party has chosen her to fight elections, then she is also a claimant for the chief minister’s post, she will not sit only as an MLA.
RS: Rajnath Singh cannot decide who will be the claimant for, or become the chief minister. If anybody can talk on this issue officialy, he is the our national president, our parliamentary board, and it decides that the MLA’s who get elected will decide their leader.
PC: I am asking something else, what is the aim behind making Uma Bharati fight elections from UP. You are the member of the parliamentary board, you have taken a decision.
RS: You are seeing that she is campaigning in Uttar Pradesh from the past 7 8 months.
PC: Even Digvijay Singh is doing that, but he is not fighting elections over there. He has come from Madhya Pradesh.
RS: This may be Congress’s own decision. It is not necessary that the BJP takes decisions on the lines of the Congress party. We take our own decisions, decide our strategy.
PC: If Uma Bharati is a member of the house, then it means she is qualified to become chief minister.
RS: Whatever it is, the decision will be taken by the parliamentary board, or the legislature party members. I am not officialy designated to comment on who will become chief minister.
PC: Like the president said that the person who wins Lok Sabha elections, will be considered for the post of prime minister. I am asking there are MLA’s in UP
RS: Didn’t you see in Congress, a person who is not a Lok Sabha member is prime minister today.
PC: Even in your party there is talk that people who are not Lok Sabha members may become prime minister.
RS: Many talks go on.
PC: Now will the parliamentary board decide that only those who win elections, become MLA, will become the chief minister
RS: How can I forecast what the parliamentary board will decide?
PC: Can a person who does not become MLA become the chief minister.
RS: No, no I said that how can Rajnath Singh give information on what the parliamentary board will decide. It is true that I am a member of the parliamentary board. Whenever there will be talk on this issue, I will give my views on the forum of the parliamentary board. There is no other appropriate forum where I can put my point of view.
PC: Initially, there were talks that the party has no strategy, no leader in UP.
RS: This you have said, the nation does not believe this.
PC: People are saying this.
RS: Nobody has told me this.
PC: Earlier Uma Bharati said that she will not fight elections, then she said she will fight. Later you also took Kushwah in the party.
RS: Nobody is over eager to fight elections in our party that is why she said. But she gracefully accepted the party’s decision.
PC: What do you think Uma Bharati represents in Uttar Pradesh. Ram Mandir, backward classes, women
RS: No, no, no you cannot limit her with caste or class politics, BJP people do not do politics on caste, creed or religion, he does politics of justice and humanity.
PC: You have so many so many senior leaders there, there is Tripathiji, you, Kalraj MIshra, Tandonji…does it mean that all senior leaders.
RS: There are many senior leaders there, Uma Bharati is also a senior leader. Why do you want to separate her.
PC: In Uttar Pradesh, you are not fighting elections.
RS: Prabhuji, why offence have to taken to her, why do you want to separate her. She is working in Uttar Pradesh from so many days, then what is the big deal if she decides to fight elections from there. And it is not her but the party’s decision.
PC: There may be a strategy to make a backward woman fight against Mayawati.
RS: No decision is taken on this basis. But I want to say one thing, if anybody has done work or reducing the reservation to the backward class, it is the Congress led UPA which has done this. There has been an attempt to loot their rights. And I even want to tell that as a chief minister in Uttar Pradesh, the reservation system we had put in place, the Muslim caste which were in the backward class, we kept them as the most backward class, hence giving them more than 14 per cent reservation. So much so that he students of Aligarh Muslim University welcomed our decision.
PC: So, ultimately came on caste politics. Now Congress has raided this area
RS: This is a constitutional provision, which has been going on from before. All people should get the benefit of reservation in the right manner.
PC: Normally BJP never used to believe in politics of reservation.
RS: It is not politics of reservation. It is sociology. People should get their due rights, ensuring this is the responsibility of any government, which I have followed as the chief minister.
PC: Was Uma Bharati projected as she is a backward face. You have no backward leader there.
RS: She should not be seen as being attached to any caste or class.
PC: Why did you take Kushwah in the party?
RS: Now that chapter is closed.
PC: He is a suspended member now.
RS: He himself said that it is suspended membership, till he is proved not guilty, till then he will not accept the membership of BJP. Not that chapter is closed and there is no reason to discuss the same.
PC: You had taken him as you needed a backward face.
RS: I said that the chapter has been closed. There is no reason to discuss that.
PC: You don’t want to say anything that is one issue, but it is caste politics.
RS: No, I want to say, I am saying what is true.
PC: Why should people vote for BJP?
RS: Why shouldn’t they vote, why shouldn’t they vote, in Uttar Pradesh, people has been the work of the government of Bharatiya Janta Party, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party. I have full confidence that if the people of Uttar Pradesh compare the performance of three governments, then it easily accept that if any party can give good governance that is the BJP.
PC: You gave good governance you say
RS: Even at the centre
PC: You say that but you lost
RS: Winning and losing cannot be compared with the performance of the governments. I want to say, six years…
PC: Why did you lose in Uttar Pradesh.
RS: I want to as you one question Prabhuji, for six years NDA government was there under the leadership of Hon. Atalji, in six years not even one case of corruption happened, nor was published in any newspaper.
PC: In 2g scam, there were aspersions cast on you policy decisions too.
RS: Inflation was kept under control, basic infrastructure was developed, this is known as good governance.
PC: In 2004, people made you lose, in 2009 also, people made you lose, why does this happen.
RS: Please see, good governance cannot be related only to this ground. There are many factors for winning and losing elections. From all those factors, this is one factor.
PC: Now you feel that you can win on good governance, caste politics, now conveniently you have forgotten Ram Mandir, you are not speaking of Ram Mandir anymore.
RS: Whatever work we did in the six years, there was a shortfall in communicating that to the grassroots level; hence we could not get the desired support.
PC: You have been president of four years, there would have been some organisational weaknesses.
RS: There could have been organisational weaknesses. Somewhere, there has been some weakness, because of which we did not come to power, could not garner the trust of the people.
PC: In UP you have played the caste card, reservation
RS: I said, there is no question of playing class or caste card. But it is true that caste is a reality of social life in India. Our aim is that in the social life of India, social life of Uttar Pradesh, social harmony and justice should prevail, people should get their rights.
PC: If Congress wants to give reservation to Muslims than what problem you have
RS: Please see, we don’t want to erect any wall between the Hindus and Muslims. Anybody who has been born to Bharat maa, be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian, let it be anybody, everybody is a brother of the other. And whosoever is socially and educationally backward, they should get the benefit of reservation, this is our constitutional provision, be it Hindu or Muslim.
PC: You mean to say reservations should not be done on basis of religion.
RS: There is no basis of differentiating on the basis of being Hindu or Muslim. Politics should be on the basis of Justice and Humanity.
PC: If there is reservation for Hindustan, then why not for Muslim brothers.
RS: There is a provision of reservation, even for Muslim community. But the constitution of India, does not give permission to grant reservation on the basis of religion. Our founding fathers gave a deep thought to this issue and took this decision. And this Congress led UPA government is going against the constitution, just for getting votes.
PC: Do you think this is vote politics.
RS: It is vote fully vote bank politics. And I say it again and again, let it be any politician, politics should not be done to get votes, it should be done to building the nation and society.
PC: But what are you doing in Uttar Pradesh, are you or dividing people on caste basis or not.
RS: It is BJP, not SP, BSP, or Congress. We don’t divide; we join people and do politics.
PC: You said that you do politics of joining people.
PC: Hence you forgot Ram Mandir in UP, you don’t speak of the same.
RS: Ram Mandir is not an election issue.
PC: Then what is election issue.
RS: Let it be the government of SP, or BSP, or the Congress government in centre, corruption has reached the zenith and hence somebody like Anna Hazare felt like starting an andolan against corruption. Congress party has increased corruption to such a level, which has got support in writing from SP, BSP that Anna Hazare felt the need of starting a protest again corruption. And this party’s were the reason for India’s image being affected all over the world.
PC: You did not let Anna Hazare’s bill passed, all together, people from Congress, BJP. You had a clandestine handshake with the Congress.
RS: You saw that after 12 pm , our leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha, Shri. Arun Jaitley, he said that the time of the house should be extended, we are ready to sit till the morning or even the next full day but this bill should be passed. But there was a conspiracy by the Congress led UPA government,
PC: But the sense of the house done first time in the Lok Sabha
RS: We passed it in the Lok Sabha. We honoured the sense of house. And let me tell, if the BJP had not done the work of building up pressure, then the Congress led UPA government would not have passed the Lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha under any circumstances.
PC: Tell anything, but Mayawati is the one who removed the most number of corrupt ministers, after Lokayukta’s comment, she removed 16 ministers.
RS: The way there has been loot in UP for five years. And when elections came near, to fool people, she removed ministers.
PC: She removed when Lokayukta report came
RS: How and why she did it, I don’t want to comment about that, but the people of the state know. For five years, why did Mayawatiji did not remember this, for five years why there were no complaints.
PC: Without any report, will she remove people suo moto, you took action against Yedurappa till the Lokayukta report was out
RS: There were Lokayukta’s earlier also. All evidences are being received on the eve of elections. Lokayukta received a complaint when elections came near. I think it is a part of conspiracy, which has been hatched by Mayawatiji to fool the people of Uttar Pradesh.
PC: You all ganged up against Mayawati who is dalit, backward and woman, but even then she won.
RS: What are you saying, Prabhuji don’t try to save somebody by saying this.
PC: But she removed ministers.
RS: She has done all this to fool people.
PC: But the people elected her 206 MLA
RS: For five years, couldn’t she see their corruption, was there no complaint for five years. When elections were announced, all complaints were made, all evidences were revealed.
PC: What did your party do
RS: I don’t blame the Lokayukta, If I hold somebody responsible, it is the chief of the UP government.
PC: Tell me one thing, there is one surety that you are not going to garner majority.
RS: Who says that, it will not come?
PC: Will you get majority
RS: Certainly. There is a target before us if of getting majority. We are making efforts, the decision is in the hands of the people.
PC: If you don’t get majority then what will you do. Will you support Mayawati or Mulayam.
RS: Our efforts are to get majority. Presume, if people do not give us that responsibility, then BJP will play the responsibility of opposition. And playing the responsibility of opposition, we will act as watchdog, chowkidaar, guardian of people of UP.
PC: Hence, you will not support anybody to form the government.
RS: There is no question; I have said it earlier, no need of repeating it again and again.
PC: In politics things keep on changing.
RS: They do, but between our words and deeds, there is no difference.
PC: Earlier you have supported Mayawati
RS: But you know that we have maintained the same stand today what we had then. And I am saying this after talking to everybody.
PC: Now talking of the fights happening at the centre, It seems that you are scared of Rahul Gandhi’s campaigning
RS: (laughs) Kya baat hain , no no, I want him to campaign, he has to, he has his own political party. Leader of every political party, has to campaign for his party.
PC: If he is raising the issue of development.
RS: For all these days, he was not worried about the development of UP, and the SP and BSP, whose support Congress party is taking in the centre, and today he goes to UP and criticizes them. What is this if not fooling the public, Prabhuji? Tell the people what is the truth, isn’t it true
PC: Tell me one thing, both the national parties, be it the Congress or the BJP, have been marginalized in UP.
RS: No, not marginalized.
PC: No, they have 22 you have 46 47
RS: That is wheel of fortune, it is a matter of time.
PC: Wheel of fortune, how many years
RS: What is years, Congress party has been out of power for so many years In Uttar Pradesh
PC: Yes, but even you are out of power.
RS: No, no we will come to power.
PC: Have national parties have become irrelevant there, without any direction, future
RS: It is not a question of national parties becoming irrelevant. If any party is trying to find its space in UP, then it is the Congress, it is fighting a battle for its significance and its survival.
PC: Will you be number three or they.
RS: No, no, we will be number one. With this conviction, we are fighting elections. BJP will emerge number one.
PC: What is your slogan
RS: Governments can be formed on the basis of slogans, but cannot run on the basis of slogans Prabhuji. We don’t want to fool people with slogans, but want to only say that BJP government will form in UP, we will give a clean government. We will give such a government, which will do such development in UP, that it will come on top in the country.
PC: We will see that when your government is formed, thank you for coming to our studio.
RS: Thank You, Prabhuji !