‘Modi has done an excellent job, he’s proved himself’
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal speaks on governance and issues concerning Punjab, Badal Senior, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and a host of other issues during Teekhi Baat on IBN7. Excerpts:
Congratulations for winning the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee elections.
Will it affect politics in Delhi?
It will, in the next Assembly and Parliament elections, due to the community vote.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) will become more powerful.
It will make no difference to our alliance with the BJP, because we are not into bargaining.
Won’t you ask for more seats?
We never do give-and-take politics.
Badal saab is slowly taking the backseat and you are coming forward.
This is an impression. Badal saab is in the full grip of the government. There are departments which I handle.
All important departments are with you.
No, not all of them. Only Home and Reforms.
In Punjab, the impression is that you are the real chief minister.
This is a media-created. I am the president of the party.
But he is reporting to you.
No, he is not reporting to me. He is our patron-in-chief.
Like at the Centre, Sardar Manmohan Singh reports to Sonia Gandhi.
Not here. Here, everybody reports to him, I am a minister under him.
Your inclusion in the NDA is symbolic.
It is not symbolic. We are not in the prime ministerial race. We don’t have the numbers, so it is foolish to start thinking like that. Ours is a small state. As a small state, we are part of the NDA, because of our policies.
You will never go with the Congress. Hence, the current condition of the BJP will affect you.
We don’t interfere in any party’s internal matters.
The JD(U) interferes every day. They say the BJP should declare its prime ministerial candidate. Your view?
This is BJP’s internal matter. We will support the person who the BJP chooses.
You have no objection to any candidate?
No, we have no objection.
Even if it’s Modi, you will have no objection?
I said, let them choose anybody, we are with the BJP.
It means you feel that the prime minister should be from the BJP?
Should be, because that is the biggest party (in the NDA). Hence it is necessary for stability too.
But people say, the BJP’s candidate may not be acceptable to some.
We have no problem.
There is talk surrounding Modi. What do you think?
I think, he has done an excellent job as the chief minister. Not only me, but everybody is talking about his performance.
In the BJP, even Shivraj Singh Chauhan has also proved himself. But is Modi a prime minister material?
I cannot comment on who is prime minister material.
In the NDA, do you find Modi the most suitable?
I will not comment. What you want me to say, I won’t say it. Our party’s stand is very clear, let BJP choose any person.
But how would NDA government be formed?
Even in Uttar Pradesh the perception is that people want change. They know NDA is the best alternative. BJP will gain hugely there.
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra.
How many seats will the BJP win?
On their own, the BJP can win over 200 seats.
And after winning over 200 seats they will make Modi the PM?
Let them make whoever they want to, we are with them.
You will see a BJP prime minister in 2014?
Hundred per cent.