PC: You are doing very good work these days?
VN: That you would know, how would I know?
PC: You work well but your critics say, that the Prime Minister keeps silent, but there is a minister in this office whose work is just to speak. He is a loudspeaker on behalf of the Prime Minister
VN: The work of the Prime Minister is to work silently. His minister of state has to tell the people, he has to tell.
PC: For the first time there is an MoS in PMO who speaks so much, earlier even Chavan saab did not speak, but Narayanaswamy is a loudspeaker and speaks much.
VN: Will have to speak on issues. Will have to tell people what our government is doing. Prime Minister is going for a function, on my behalf, I speak to the media. This I will have to do.
PC: You are the Prime Minister’s inner voice
VN: No I am not the inner voice. Whatever directions the Prime Minister, respected UPA chairperson is giving, my work is to do that.
PC: It is a big issue for you, will you listen to UPA chairperson or Prime Minister
VN: Will listen to both.
PC: Will listen to both, who will to take instruction from, you are a congress worker, an old loyalist, Narayanaswami has been with the Gandhi family, even if other people left, your commitment towards Soniaji is total,100 per cent.
VN: It is 100 per cent.
PC: Then you must be taking her advice first
VN: The government comes after the party.
PC: Which means party is first
VN: Party is first
PC: Hence you will do first what the party says
VN: Surely, 100 per cent, I will do it. You know, the government comes after the party. It is necessary to give importance first to the party.
PC: Once you go into the government, it may be difficult for Narayanaswamy, who is a Gandhi family loyalist; many times it may be that should I support Prime Minister or Soniaji
VN: I know where you are heading. Let me tell you, it is the government’s job to act according to the party’s policy. The party’s policy is given by the Congress president, UPA chairperson, to act accordingly is our work, Prime Minister will do, Narayanaswamy will do, Chidambaram will do, Salman Khurshid will do, Pawan Bansal will do, Kapil Sibal will do, Ambika Soni and all of them.
PC: Narayanaswamy is in the PMO. I will not say that you are IB are Sonia Gandhi’s place, but you keep an eye on whether the party program is being implemented.
VN: It is my responsibility to see whether the party program is being implemented in the right manner.
PC: In appointments committee, all work happens through you
VN: No, no, it is routed through Narayanaswamy
PC: But the file comes to you, in which you must be reading names, whether the name of Prabhu Chawla is right or not, you keep an eye, that the person would not go against. You must be getting enquiry done about each officer.
VN: My job is, that after looking at the file, to see if the guidelines have been followed. Is the IB report correct, is there a CVC clearance, will have to sent after having a look at all this.
PC: You would be seeing if the office will go against the Congress party or no
VN: Why it will go against, what is the relation between a government servant and Congress.
PC: What is written in IB report, whether the person is sympathetic to CPI (M), RSS, Congress, something like that would be written
VN: There is no relation between officers and party. They will support any party that runs the government.
PC: Earlier on the CVC posting, you did not listen to the opposition, later you lost in the Supreme Court
VN: You are speaking about non official member that is different, if you are speaking about government servant’s bank chairman
PC: Issues of salary, secretary empanelment, in which you examine which secretary is right. Narayanaswamy job must be to screen people who must be against Congress and its philosophy
VN: No, we look at merit.
PC: If you see on merit, and one is a Congress supporter, and one is not, then you will appoint a Congress supporter,
VN: Going by merit, there is no party issue at the time of appointment, merit will have to be considered
PC: Merit would have to be seen, but both things are essential, isn’t it? If there are two people having merit, one is a Congress supporter, the second is independent, who will you choose,
VN: When a file comes to me, I don’t know if a person is a Congress or some other supporter.
PC: From the time you have come, parliament is not running properly, people are saying that you are not rightly advising Pawan Bansal. Bansal does not work, he is senior and keeps quiet, Narayanaswamy comes to the forefront and takes positions.
VN: I give my full support to Pawan Kumar Bansalji.
PC: But the failure of parliament to function, the government is responsible for that.
VN: You are saying rightly that it is the responsibility of the government. It is first the responsibility of the government, then the opposition, they should support the government in running the parliament, co-operate with it, which is not happening these days. These days, BJP takes up a small issue and stalls parliament. This is not right. The parliament is very, very important in a democracy. Parliament is for taking up issues and discussing. People will have to be told what all works the government is doing. The opposition’s work is to grill the government. It is not for shouting slogans inside the parliament.
PC: People say that the Congress used to do the same when it was in opposition. When the George Fernandes case came to light, you did not let the parliament function.
VN: It would be for two or three days
PC: For many days you boycotted George Fernandes
VN: In all these 50 years, BJP will take reference of one incidence, this should not happen.
PC: When opposition says that the Prime Minister should resign,
VN: Since 2009, they have demanded the Prime Minister’s resignation a 100 times. They want the chair, it is time for that, the people will decide, it is not in our hand, elections would be held in 2014, people will decide, how will they get the chair.
PC: They refer to the CAG report and say when Prime Minister was also the coal minister, like Raja had to resign. Earlier, MoS in coal was different, when it can happen with Raja, then why cannot Prime Minister give his resignation, don’t you think there is logic in their argument
VN: Let me tell you the CAG report is not final, it is a preliminary report, it will have to be tested, the PAC would do it.
PC: You don’t even let the PAC run
VN: Murli Manohar Joshi was chairman or the PAC. In PAC the preliminary report would go, it would be discussed, they will examine, after which it will give a report. On the basis of the report, the government would act. Regarding CAG reports let me tell you, when BJP government was there, that time thousands of CAG reports came, did Vajpayjeeji resign.
PC: But such a big scam, 1.70 lakh crore
VN: Corruption is corruption, bungling is bungling,
PC: When the scam during their time came out, a minister had to resign
VN: Where, he was brought back.
PC: They removed after you raise the issue
VN: They got him back. There are CAG reports against so many chief ministers, in Gujarat, against Narendra Modi, a CAG report was tabled, did he resign, against Raman Singh, a CAG report stated mining scam, did he resign.
PC: Why is your credibility so bad then? Your foes say that the amount of scams that have happened in UPA 2 have never happened before. But you are saying that it happens in state government’s do but is not known.
VN: BJP is doing this, media is doing this, it has not other work. Our government since 2004 till today, has given such good programme’s to people , Right to Information (RTI) and now Right to Education (RTE). We gave tribal rights, our bill regarding food security is in the parliament,
PC: But unemployment is increasing, inflation is increasing, but you are giving everything for free,
VN: On the one hand, a joint secretary level government officer gets Rs. 80,000 monthly salary, we are giving subsidy, incentive to farmers.
PC: One of your minister say that inflation is benefitting famrers, Verma.
VN: He is a different economist, I am a different economist
PC: Bu the question is about low credibility of your government
VN: No, no, no, no this is a vicious campaign that the BJP is doing, it is BJP’s agenda. Two times BJP projected respected Advaniji as Prime Ministerial candidate, 2004 went by, 2009 also went by, that is why they got frustrated, now it is not his turn, now there are second line leaders in BJP, where everybody is the Prime Ministerial candidate, this is happening in our country.
PC: There are many candidate there, but there is no one except Rahul Gandhi with you. They
have many good Prime Ministerial candidates.
VN: Are they good people, they are fighting among themselves. They are not good people, fighting among themselves, even when there is a nothing at ground level,
PC: But they have 5-6 leaders, Prime Ministerial candidates.
VN: We have a lot of second line leadership in our party. Rahulji is our leader, Prime Minister is our leader,
PC: But there is only one PM after Manmohan Singh in your place, that is Rahul Gandhi and nobody else.
VN: I fully support this.
PC: Why does not Rahul Gandhi become minister then?
VN: That is his wish. Rahulji would have to take decision, we requested him to become Prime Minister. He himself said that for me to come into council of ministers, Congress President and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will take decision.
PC: BJP makes charge against the government that it is arrogant, don’t have tolerance, you misuse CBI against the opposition, you are not running the government but misusing the agency,
VN: Congress party and leaders are not arrogant. BJP starts being arrogant, they are speaking about CBI, let me tell you, there are CBI cases against Congress leaders, there are CBI cases against our alliance party leaders, some of our people were in jail, after that they came out on bail. CBI case was registered only against one BJP leader, you see. Isn’t there any bungling in the BJP? Is there no bungling in Madhya Pradesh
PC: The are all innocent people
VN: Achcha, you know, I know that there is so many scams happening in Madhya Pradesh in mining. Recently, there was a scam of Rs. 300 crore against a minister in Chattisgarh, the chief minister has given 50,000 acres land for mining. Is this not a scam.
PC: You mean to say that CBI people are so independent that they are catching more of your people and not other people to that extent
VN: We are not interfering with the CBI, that is not our job.
PC: If there was misuse, you mean to say that BJP people would have been caught because they are equally corrupt
VN: To defend, they are speaking against the Congress. They keep on raking up issue saying misuse of CBI, misuse of CBI, thinking that CBI would not go after them if they say that.
PC: People are making a charge that all the institutions, be it parliament, CBI,CVC, CAG, you said that the CAG is crossing its mandate, not speaking the language under the constitution. Recently, I saw one of your ministers giving instructions to the vice chairman to dissolve the house. Hence, you don’t have respect for institutions.
VN: You impression is not right. It is essential to talk about CAG report. In the CAG report, they have no right to question the policy of the government; their job is to do accounting. So many CAG reports were brought out, how come the presumptive aspect comes in, they are experts in accounting, they have to give correct value. How can notional value be said, they are doing politics, that is why I am saying they should not exceed their mandate.
PC: You means CAG is doing politics
VN: I am not saying that CAG is doing politics
PC: But you just said
VN: No, I did not mean that, cut it. I am telling that CAG should do work according to the mandate given to it by the constitution.
PC: Are they not doing their work
VN: After seeing the report, I seems that they are not working according to their mandate, that is the impression I have.
PC: They mean to embarrass the government
VN: No that I don’t want to talk on, we will face it in the parliament.
PC: Even CAG, that Rajiv Shukla lectured them the other day to adjourn, first time we saw a leader telling that there would be chaos, adjourn, is the govenrment’s job to advice. Even earlier you got the Vice President to adjourn the house at 12 pm in December.
VN: Deputy chairman was presiding over the house. Opposition was creating chaos.
PC: But it had not even started
VN: They started chaos, from our end, people said Prime Minister zindabad ! They asked Prime Minister’s resignation, what will parliamentary affairs minister, he is not there to keep quiet. He said that the situation is not right, you take a decision. What is there against him, but media turned it into a big issue and started talking against Rajiv Shukla, this is not good.
PC: But do you think he has the authority to tell in the ear to adjourn the house
VN: To take or not take his advice is the chariman’s job.
PC: But chairman listens to your advice
VN: If he wants to adjourn
PC: Party says they want to discuss, you get it adjourned, this is double standard.
VN: There was so much chaos, nobody would have even got to listen to speech
PC: BJP is also saying rightly that you do not want discussion and hence when Prime Minister resigns, they will come to the house
VN: It is on record, we have told them, we are ready to discuss on coal block allotments, please come, why is the BJP running.
PC: Discussions happened many times, like on CAG report on 2G, discussions keep on happening, but there is no action.
VN: Our government took action. In our system, proof is essential, to punish somebody, there must be evidence to prove it.
PC: You appointed CAG, it is appointed via the finance minister’s authority.
VN: CAG is constitutional authority, appointment is different.
PC: Then to question about its integrity, you are criticizing the messenger.
VN: We did not question his integrity. We are telling them to work on the basis of their mandate.
PC: it means that they don’t know their work. An IAS officer has worked for 35 years, you are telling him what work he should do, he does not know.
VN: We have not told him, there is a provision in the constitution regarding what all is their mandate, we are telling them to go on that basis.
PC: How will you run the house, BJP are saying they will not let it run
VN: Today in the Rajya Sabha, Chairman saab spoke to all political leaders, now to find a way our, BJP, JD (U), our alliance partners, Samajwadi Party, BSP, speaking to everybody to find a way out
PC: Will you convene an all party meeting
VN: Speaker will take a decision. Chairman held a meeting today, major political parties representatives were present in the meeting. He told them to discuss.
PC: Will there be no initiative the Prime Minister’s level to convene an all party meeting
VN: You know our leader of the house Shindeji, Bansal saab, our parliamentary affairs minister, they are making an attempt so that all leaders speak to each other on Monday.
PC: It means you have not requested them through speaker to call a meeting
VN: We have made a request to the speaker, speaker will decide
PC: Will call an all party meeting
VN: I don’t know, speaker will decide, madam will decide.
PC: If all BJP MP’s resign, then the credibility of your government would be lost.
VN: I won’t answer to ifs and buts
PC: You are scared of BJP
VN: No, you know for 20 years I have come up fighting the BJP in parliament. I do not fear BJP. I am telling that BJP leaders should take decision, it is their party’s job, it would not be right for me to respond on that
PC: If they resign, will you make elections happen
VN: This the election commission will decide, what can I do in that
PC: I don’t understand why you grow stubborn on each issue. Like a nuclear plant issue in your state, you said that you will run it. Even there you were pressing upon the people, even here you are doing the same. A high court case is on there
VN: No, no,no,no , judgement is awaited in Koodankulam. Independent authority has gone there, stayed for three months, done total inspection, gave permission regarding fuel loading, now 99 per cent of the work is done there,
PC: It has happened but the people don’t want nuclear power, you are doing it by force because the Americans say, you critics say that you are going to forcibly give nuclear power. You are telling alliance partners that you will get FDI, you are behaving like a big brother, which reeks of arrogance.
VN: That is not true. Whatever the directors of the environment office, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, TERB, public outreach, we completed all formalities and completed the work on Koodankulam.
PC: Allies are annoyed with you because you don’t ask them
VN: No, we made a co-ordination committee, meetings are on now. Everybody are talking
PC: Now you would not take any decisions beforehand
VN: How will decision happen
PC: Like you did in FDI and then asked allies
VN: We spoke with allies
PC:Later, after announcing
VN: If somebody has reservation, we will speak on that
PC: Henceforth, any important decision that you take would be via the co-ordination committee.
VN: Co-ordination committee will take decision regarding policy matter.
PC: Congress will not take decision alone now
VN: In coalition government it is a compulsion.
PC: But earlier you took decisions, you erred.
VN: It is not a fault, that time we did, there were differences in two to three issues,
PC: Your are minister in Prime Ministers office, people say paralyzed Prime Minister office, no work happens, government is paralyzed, Prime Minister office is paralyzed and our Prime Minister is keeping quiet like Gautam Buddha. Is the government paralyzed or not?
VN: Prime Minister if working for 18 hours, is doing government’s work. It would not be good if people merely see and take decision, what is his work, that will have to be seen, you would have seen Reliance’s investment to the tune of two billion dollars in exploration was initiated,
PC: You reduced area by 40 per cent
VN: Asked explanation. Investment has come. Secondly, you know investment is coming from Japan in our country, from other countries for infrastructure works like metro.
VN: It is BJP’s false propaganda, not only propaganda, BJP’s false propaganda, BJP has only one program, to speak against our government every day.
PC: But that is the job of the opposition.
VN: They have to speak what is right, right issues have to be raised. Which is not happening, they are speaking blatant lies.
PC:Your government is running very well
VN: It is running very well.
PC: Thank you for coming to our studio
VN: Thank you, Prabhuji !