Monday, August 26, 2013

As lobbies rule.... Power & Politics / The Sunday Standard/ August 25, 2013

As lobbies rule, personality-driven diplomacy undermines India's clout


India is perhaps the only country where choosing the place and timing of diplomatic postings is done, not just by the government but also by serving IFS officers. With the PM imposing his diplomatic doctrine through the National Security Adviser (NSA), various lobbies have come into play to grab key capitals and sensitive senior secretary-level posts in South Block. This is nothing new as foreign policy and choice of key diplomats are the PM’s prerogative. But never before have personal prejudices or preferences played decisive roles in choices. Diplomacy is an instrument to gain control over turns of internal affairs. So, persons well versed with the enigmatic intricacies of global dialogue are chosen to engage foes and friends. Of late, individuals with powerful connections have infiltrated the system to promote personal interests. Setting new precedents, even the PM’s special envoys are invited, bypassing all diplomatic channels for a week, to facilitate an emperor’s visit. In another case, former President K R Narayanan’s daughter Chitra Narayanan continues at her desk in Switzerland since 2008, and was given an extension on medical grounds. Her successor Rajesh Prasad has been cooling his heels in Delhi for a year. In an unprecedented move, the NSA makes it a point to accompany the newly-appointed foreign secretary to Bhutan only to undermine her authority as the point person dealing with neighbours. It doesn’t matter if the one chosen to lead a mission doesn’t know the language or the socio-political culture of the host country. New diplomats go by the belief that if you are out of sight, you will also be out of mind of decision-makers. Hence, they always remain within sight either physically or through patrons in South Block. Of late, officers with little knowledge of a country are being picked for ambassadorial positions because they have acquired mutually beneficial proximity with the establishment. Even those likely to retire soon have been picked to handle key positions abroad, leaving South Block with not many talented seniors. A peek into the kind of appointments likely to take place during the next few months tells a tale of confusion, chaos and charity.
S Jaishankar
The choice of Indian ambassadors to P-5 nations such as US, UK, France, China and Russia not only defines the contours of the country’s global role but also decides the fate of senior diplomats. Four ambassadorial positions in the US, UK, China and Russia are likely to fall vacant in the next few months.
Though no final names have been announced, it is certain that Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will be envoy to Washington. Currently in China, his only qualification besides pedigree is that he was joint secretary (America) in South Block when India signed the N-deal with the US. He has always been part of the nuclear establishment. He was one of the PM’s favourites for the post of foreign secretary. Jaishankar is likely to be replaced by Ashok Kantha, the Secretary East, since he knows Chinese and has served in Hong Kong. Both, however, who would’ve retired in 2015 would now get an additional year each, since their new two-year tenures mean they would hang up their boots only in 2016. Similarly, Russian-speaking special secretary P S Raghavan is expected to become ambassador to Russia after Ajay Malhotra retires in November—he, too, will get few extra months.
P S Raghavan
Jaimini Bhagwati, the High Commissioner to London, retires next month; the government is yet to decide on his successor. Since he is not an establishment favourite, he is unlikely to get an extension. Moreover, Ranjan Mathai’s name is being pushed for London despite his lacklustre performance as head of Foreign Service. Even the fate of appointments to important countries like Japan and Germany is uncertain. Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa, also Russian-speaking, continues to head the Tokyo mission. There is no sign of a replacement for India’s ambassador to Germany after Sujatha moved last month. With many senior officials who are experts in their fields retiring, India’s diplomatic hierarchy is left with inexperienced hands to deal with the P-5 power structure. Many feel that the combination of Jaishankar, Raghavan, Kantha and others aren’t equipped to handle the P-5 establishment. With little knowledge of economics and security strategy, coupled with political instability at home, India’s diplomats are likely to flounder than flourish.
Ashok Kantha
With the well-known and better-connected leaving South Block to take up plum assignments, only inexperienced and junior officials will be left to lead various divisions. For example, both Anil Wadhwa and Dinkar Khullar who will take over as secretaries are much junior to most ambassadors they will be dealing with. Moreover, there is a shortage of experts to handle the 56-member Nuclear Suppliers Group. With increasing interference from PMO and NSA’s office, most diplomats want to work outside the country.
The situation with our neighbours is worse, thanks to policy paralysis and the wrong choice of some diplomats. For example, Y K Sinha, an expert in Arab affairs, is the high commissioner to Colombo and Ranjit Rae, who speaks German, is ambassador to Nepal. South Block chose Pankaj Saran as high commissioner to Bangladesh even though he is an expert in Russian. Since most Indian ambassadors in the neighbourhood are looking for the next best destination, relations with neighbours are at their worst.
Never before has management of diplomatic talent been so casual and personality-driven. As the PMO and NSA refuse to give any elbow room to South Block mandarins and the external affairs minister, India’s credibility and clout in international diplomacy is plummeting faster than the value of the rupee. The age-old saying that “diplomats were invented to simply waste time” is turning out to be true, at least for India.
prabhuchawla@newindianexpress.com; Follow me on Twitter @PrabhuChawla



'Beating drums beforehand is not Congress culture'


Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit speaks about her political duty and qualities a Prime Minister  should have during Teekhi Baat on IBN7. Excerpts:

History repeats itself, when you came to power, the issue was onion prices.
No, sorry, this is what you are saying, but to say just because of onions we came to power
Won’t the onion prices affect government? BJP, the state government and AAP have set up onion shops...
BJP has set up 7-8 shops, Aam Aadmi Party has set up, 2-4, and we have set up 1000 outlets and 200 tempos.
You are experiencing fear due to onion prices...
We are providing relief.
Parliament has not passed food security bill and you have started distributing.
I checked, the ordinance is in place. Even the opposition parties in parliament, they will realize that the food security bill is not for you not for me, not for members of parliament, not for rich, this is for the poorest of the poor.
CAG report says there is a lot of leakage.
Not in PDS.
Who after Sheila? If Soniaji makes to Prime Minister by mistake.
‘By mistake’ is right.
Will you be in Delhi only? If you don’t vacate, how those below you would progress.
I have not come into this job for progress, I have been given a duty and I want to do it happily.
You didn’t give reaction on the Shunglu committee report...
Replies have been given to all questions raised in Shunglu committee report.
What two qualities should a PM have?
A PM should be accepted by the party, they decide that he should be our (candidate). Second, elections should be won. This is not Congress party’s culture. First let us win elections. Or should we start beating drums beforehand?
Even in your party people say Rahul Gandhi should become PM. But he never said he wants to be PM. 
We want, but Rahul will not say. This is the difference.
What is difference between Rahul and Modi?
I don’t make personal comments on Rahulji or Modiji.
Am speaking of leadership
Our leadership, party will elect. Wasn’t Soniaji elected?

Monday, August 19, 2013

An early mandate is needed .... Power & Politics/The Sunday Standard/August 18, 2013




An early mandate is needed to restore purpose to the policy-making apparatus



Credible governance does not imply statistical sleight of hand. Being in office doesn’t necessarily mean that one is in power; it is also an issue of perception. The UPA can boast of its achievements by trotting out numbers, painting a rosy picture of the state of the nation. The recent series of government-sponsored advertisements are impressive in colour, content and design. Even some administrative and legislative measures announced by the UPA reflect a resolve to govern and deliver. But nothing seems to be working on the ground. All meaningful measures are falling on deaf ears as if the government is merely blowing its own trumpet. The rupee is sliding faster than oil seepage. GDP growth has hit rock bottom and the Sensex, the darling of the market-friendly UPA government, has lost its patrons. Its fall has broken over a dozen records. Despite a liberal FDI policy, more and more dollars are flying out of the country and less and less domestic and foreign investors are willing to invest in new projects. The government’s ability to push through crucial legislative measures has been immensely crippled by its untrustworthy allies who are asking for more and more for less and less support. None, including the Prime Minister, is confident about political support from allies to push business in Parliament. For the past six months, even the hyperactive, articulate minister for parliamentary affairs, Kamal Nath, has failed to ensure the passage of crucial bills in the last two sessions. Short of pleading on bended knees, government leaders are seen pitifully begging for support from even individual MPs to run Parliament. Of late, whispers are heard in the corridors of power on the possibility of holding early Lok Sabha polls which are due in April 2014. The Election Commission has placed orders for over two lakh additional EVMs for elections to the state Assemblies and the Lok Sabha.

The government’s logic is simply political—a government and a big council of ministers meet every week and takes decisions that fail to deliver dividends. It is in power by default, not by right. This perception is hurting performance. Every section of society, from farmers to fund-raisers, feels that this government doesn’t command authority and credibility. It is in office only because none of its allies are willing to go for early polls, but successfully keep extracting crumbs from a tottering administration. It survives by pandering to both reasonable and unreasonable demands of genuine and fake allies. Nitish Kumar has got more from the UPA in grants than he would have otherwise, if the government was firmly in the saddle.
As the popularity of the once most respected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh plummets, some of the saner Congress leaders are wondering whether the party should go for early elections—both for the Lok Sabha and the five state Assemblies—to restore the government’s authority. They feel that it is better to take a risky plunge rather than lose badly. The younger elements are resigned to sitting in the Opposition hoping they can return to power after a brief spell of chaos. Even some prominent economists have started building a case for early elections so that the economic decision-making process is back on the rails. Their case is simple. The UPA has lost the will to govern, with the PM being concerned more about the fate of the Indo-Pak dialogue than the state of the party. A new mandate would restore purpose to the policy-making apparatus. A new government, irrespective of composition, would be better placed to take decisive actions, whether on reviving the sagging economy or facing hostilities across the borders. Senior government officials have stopped processing files and proposals because they feel no decision taken by the outgoing government would be implemented. They prefer to wait for an incoming government with a clear mandate and not follow orders from an outgoing one that has lost both authority and purpose.
There are strong economic and political reasons for a mid-term poll. Ever since the Lok Sabha polls were delinked from state Assembly elections in 1980, India has been going through the torture of the ballot almost every year, leaving the government paralysed for one-third of the time. For example, notifications for the five state elections in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram will be issued next month. It means that neither these states nor the Central government can take policy decisions until the elections are over by end of November. Once the new state governments are sworn in, the bell for the Lok Sabha elections would start pealing; no Central government decision can be made until May 2014. Practically, there would be no effective government in the country from September to next May. It is to prevent such policy paralysis that the idea to hold both the Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections together has been mooted by a few political leaders and economists. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, the late Vice-President, had suggested to all parties to dissolve their state Assemblies before the 2004 Lok Sabha elections so that the country could elect their MPs and MLAs at the same time and save over Rs10, 000 crore spent on conducting elections. His idea, aimed at ensuring the continuity of good governance without the fear of facing an election every year, was rejected by most parties, including his own. For India’s caste- and community-ridden political parties, good governance makes bad politics. For them, frequent elections bring both money and muscle power into the public arena.
prabhuchawla@newindianexpress.com; Follow me on Twitter @PrabhuChawla

Teekhi Baat with Salman Khurshid/IBN7/ August 17, 2013




'Nawaz had said openly Pakistan wants good relations'


External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid speaks about UPA2’s security policy and Indo-Pak relations during the Teekhi Baat  on IBN7. Excerpts:

I feel that in UPA 2, diplomacy rules over security policy.
You asked a very tough question. I am saying tough because I want to speak at length on it. I will have to tell things related to security policy which are not normally spoken about. Even the defence minister does not speak those things.
Because the defence minister does not say anything. One feels that the foreign minister is deciding everything.
No, he is very experienced and senior to us, we follow his path. We believe he will take a decision after great thought and deliberation.
You didn’t answer my question.
It is done with discussion and dialogue being dependent on one another. This cannot work separately because security is connected with foreign policy in a big way.
Who should call the shots in the country? Security policy or diplomacy?
Sometimes security policy or diplomacy is in national interest. But diplomacy does not have its own aim. Its aim is aligned with security policy. If foreign policy has a role in taking the country ahead, in the end, it stops as security policy.
With Nawaz Sharif, you felt new people have come with new thinking. You would have felt saddened with the reaction.
We have felt saddened. But something would or would not happen after that. Will they react, send message, will they close the gap between what they say and what they do? Will we see something ahead or not?
Is Nawaz Sharif better than Zardari saab?
What is the old talk on Nawaz Sharif saab? We have seen that a new thinking is awakening in Pakistan. I cannot say today whether it is wrong or right. And to talk about this thinking, Sharif has projection via his manifesto, campaign and talks, when it could be presumed that if he talks positively about India in campaign, then there would be a section of electorate which would oppose him. But despite that, he openly said that they want good relations with India.

Monday, August 12, 2013

IN losing your neighbour's confidence ... Power & Politics / The Sunday Standard/ August 11, 2013




In losing your neighbour's confidence, risk is of being gobbled up by Big Brother


“A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”—John F Kennedy.

For the past decade, the Indian establishment has been scrupulously adopting market mantras of the land of Kennedy. India’s economy is now more open than that of the mother of all open economies—the US. Both, however, have one thing in common. They are afraid to let people know the truth behind the establishment’s shady decisions. America wants to snoop on every global citizen. The Indian government is going out of its way to conceal the truth from the people. Defence Minister A K Antony’s statement last week followed this example. Within a few hours of Pakistani soldiers killing five jawans at the LoC, Antony was forced to say terrorists in Pakistan Army uniform were responsible. Who hypnotised him to try market the imaginary innocence of the Pakistan Army is a mystery. He finally accepted that it was indeed an act aided and sponsored by the Pakistan military. While the credibility of India’s defence establishment suffered damage, the incident raised questions about India’s dubitable diplomacy. A series of decisions by a cabal of diplomats have left none in doubt that they would go to any extent to promote their personal ambitions at the cost of India’s clout. Their success is evident in the PM’s unwillingness to call off the sham of a peace dialogue with Pakistan. Neither the bodies on the border nor the bombing of innocent citizens stands in the way. The similarity in statements made by both countries on the killings seemed to emanate from the same source. When Pakistan-based terrorists and ISI henchmen murder Indians, our rulers disturbingly don’t even catch a cold. In spite of a nationwide consensus in favour of teaching Pakistan a lesson by isolating it in the international community, the UPA is determined to host Nawaz Sharif at a friendly rendezvous in New York next month. India’s fixation for talks with Pakistan became more pronounced after UPA’s return in 2009. It was reflected in the joint statement issued after a meeting between PM Manmohan Singh and former Pak president Asif Zardari at Sharm el-Sheikh in July 2009. In a deviation from past policy, India delinked Pakistan-sponsored terror from composite dialogue. India accepted the inclusion of the Baluchistan issue in the statement, which had never happened before. Since then, the PM and his advisers on Pakistan have stuck to their resolve of pandering to our untrustworthy neighbour.
Obviously, South Block has adopted the Nehruvian principle of dictating the international agenda and become a power centre in itself. India’s diplomats lack long-term perspective; their horizons shrinking from a global overview to being camp followers of American diplomacy. Now we are neither a drop in the diplomatic ocean nor an invitee at the global high table. Pakistan, with its nuclear bombs and terrorists, is more acceptable to liberal Western nations than a secular and open democracy like India.
No neighbour takes us seriously. There was a time when nothing would move in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka without India’s involvement. Now, they ignore us and also threaten to join hands with China and Pakistan. The new Maldives dispensation cocked a snook at us by cancelling the building contract of an Indian company. Bhutan chose to open a dialogue with China after India’s short-sighted move to withdraw oil subsidies. First, India revised the 63-year-old Indo-Bhutan friendship treaty in 2007, which gave Bhutan the freedom to devise an independent foreign policy. But our diplomats were busy cozying up to the US, and ignored Bhutan.
In the case of Sri Lanka, India’s top leadership reversed its policy on human rights, which led to not only DMK’s exit from the UPA but also to the island nation turning hostile to India. Now it is creating more trouble by arresting Tamil fishermen on a daily basis. It has invited China to take over strategic port construction activities. India’s Bangladesh policy is worrying. Dhaka has acted decisively against fundamentalists and terrorists. President Sheikh Hasina wanted concessions in a revised treaty Teesta River treaty and the exchange of territory along the Assam border. The agreement could not be signed because of Mamata Banerjee’s veto; the UPA failed to resolve the boundary issue because the BJP was uncooperative, even though it would help India to get rid of terrorists infiltrating through Bangladesh. Ever since Hasina acquired power, she did not allow top jihadis from Pakistan to hide in the country; she even extradited some to India. She ensured judicial punishment to fundamentalists and invited top Indian entrepreneurs to set up businesses. But our diplomats do nothing to ensure the stability of a genuinely democratic and modern political leadership because Dhaka is not an attractive posting.
Our diplomats are busy playing golf and smoking cigars in Nepal, a playground for extremists from China and Pakistan. Despite having a massive Indian-origin  population, Nepal is not an ally. Like other neighbours, it perceives India not as a dependable friend but a ferocious foe. South Block, it seems, has forgotten the saying that once you lose your neighbour’s confidence, you run the risk of being gobbled up by Big Brother and losing your identity acquired at a huge cost and through hard work by leaders like Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
prabhuchawla@newindianexpress.com; Follow me  on Twitter @PrabhuChawla

Monday, August 5, 2013

Don't forget on your success.... Power & Politics/The Sunday Standard/ August 04, 2013



Don't Forget on your Success Depends Survival of Young Leadership Experiment


Dear Akhilesh,


I’m sure you are well aware that a large number of young voters are feeling betrayed. The diabolic suspension of Durga Shakti Nagpal, a young, brilliant IAS officer, for taking on the sand mafia has unmasked the dark side of your administration. Political vendettas, humiliation of civil servants, threatening abuse from Samajwadi Party satraps and the brutal killings of political leaders have marred your personal image. You still come across as one of the country’s most affable chief ministers. But your government is perceived as the most chaotic in India. It is one lacking an assertive leader. You may have fulfilled your promise to give young voters free laptops with Internet connections. But they aren’t able to reconcile your modern mind with your government’s autocratic actions. When you took over two years ago, the 180 million people of Uttar Pradesh saw in India’s youngest Chief Minister a catalyst for change.
I have seen you grow up in the Yadav clan, dominated by caste considerations. Your father Mulayam Singh Yadav sent you to tony schools and also abroad for better education in the hope that you would turn out to be the game-changer for the parivar and the state. He made you the SP state president to lead the party in the Assembly elections. You cycled through the dust and heat of the caste-ridden, communally volatile state. Your red cap, black waistcoat and bicycle became the symbol of change, which the voters were looking forward to. You proved wrong the elitist propagandists—who were pitching for a coalition government—by winning a record number of seats any regional party has ever won in Uttar Pradesh. Just a few weeks before the elections, when I interviewed you for my show Teekhi Baat for IBN7, you were surprised about being given such prominence. My media colleagues laughed at my choice of the 38-year-old budding politician who would never make it to chief minister’s chair. Soon, they had to eat their words and chase you for interviews. You were candid and assertive. You assured viewers that you wouldn’t allow party cadres to dictate terms to the government. You promised to erase the SP’s goonda raj image in the state and that civil servants would be given full freedom from interference. Finally, you vowed that if voted to absolute power, your party would follow growth-driven policies. Not only Uttar Pradesh but also the entire country was expecting a marvellous model of modern governance from the youngest chief minister of India’s most populous state. Sadly, you have now been compelled to forget your promises and stick to the conventional politics of patronage. Like another young chief minister, Jammu and Kashmir’s Omar Abdullah, you were also chosen to lead the state in a midnight operation. Omar, by his pathetic performance, has proved beyond doubt that dynastic succession doesn’t ensure success in governance. But you were expected to justify dynastic politics by excelling in delivery and not retain the hidden traits of feudal machinations.
The past 17 months seem to have taken a toll not only on your political acumen but also on your determination to deliver on promises. Though your ascension was a hereditary transition of power from a father to a son, it was meant to change the direction, dialogue and the development tapestry of the state. Soon after you took over, some Samajwadi goons went on a rampage—attacking officials, extracting ransom from innocents and grabbing land. Suddenly, an Akhilesh Sena comprising lumpen elements had popped up, which started to threaten opponents with violence. You disbanded it quickly and ordered some of them arrested.
Unfortunately, it is the only visible action you have taken as chief minister. Since then, your ability and credibility seem to have eroded. Sometimes, your own admirers compare you with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is in the chair but not in power. Unlike other SP leaders, you still enjoy a clean image. You haven’t promoted factionalism within the party, but you haven’t acted against the dirty politics which is destroying your image either. Your ministers and party leaders openly abuse civil servants, patronise dons and mafias and help illegal commercial activities. You are told that the bureaucracy is out to destabilise your government by creating caste and communal tensions. Your counsellors are taking advantage of SP’s multiple power centres. Many decisions taken in the morning are reversed by the evening by other ‘unknown’ powers. Recently, the transfers of over a dozen senior officials ordered and approved by you were put in abeyance as soon as you took off from Lucknow for an official visit to the south. These nefarious forces have taken full advantage of your silence and inaction for their deeds and misdeeds. They haven’t allowed you to declare your agenda for governance. Your government hasn’t been able to attract any major investments. It hasn’t started any new infrastructure projects. The ‘cabal that shall not be named’ has made you a captive chief minister who is unwilling to disrupt the existing power structure. It is because of this scary scenario that many senior and excellent civil servants posted at the Centre and other states are unwilling to stay in UP. Bureaucrats in your state are unwilling to take decisions and have stopped processing even normal administrative files. Most of your MLAs and MPs, while appreciating your anguish, are disillusioned by your inaction and indifference. They feel that you are now a reluctant chief minister who is willing to compromise but not fight. Don’t forget that leaders of your age group have a bigger stake in the state’s future than the old netas who have won by dividing people and not socially and economically empowering them. Don’t forget that in your success depends the survival of the Young Leadership experiment. Your failure will only ensure the perpetuation of the old and tired leadership.
(Follow me on Twitter @PrabhuChawla. Or, email: prabhuchawla@newindianexpress.com)

Teekhi Baat with Uma Bharti/IBN7/ August 03, 2013


video



"Building Ram Temple can be an issue for andolan
not Election"


INTERVIEW with BJP vice president Uma Bharti for Teekhi Baat on IBN7

UB: Namaskar

PC: I know you from many years, but i cannot understand your identity now, are you leader of UP, Madhya Pradesh, or national leader or a sanyasin, what are you?

UB: During introduction you used the word bhootpoorva for me, i object to the word bhoot, i am not a bhoot (meaning ghost).

PC:You are not a bhoot you seem to be a sadhvi
UB: I am not bhoot, secondly, some things happened and i was out of BJP for five and a half years, hence there is a certain distance. Individual relations are all right, but at the level of the organisation,i have kept my involvement at the level of Ganga abhiyaan, i was running this abhiyan earlier too, and by co-incidence, BJP has formed a Ganga bachao cell with Rajnathji as its chief, as soon as i came to BJP, Rajnathji gave me charge of the cell, at that time Nitin Gadkariji was president. Hence, you are right, am associated with issues but at a distance from the organisation activities of BJP.

PC:You think that a certain distance developed with the party ideology, leaders, as you were out of party for 5.5 years. Because the distance grew, you are not fitting in now.
UB: There was no distance from the ideology. There was distance from individuals and some distance from organisation. That continues now, as in organization functions held today, my participation is hardly there. But if i want any leader to be associated with Ganga abhiyan, i get that done.

PC: Which means your responsibility to make “pavitra” the Ganga river.
UB: Such a word cannot be used, Ganga is already ‘pavitra’, we have made it unclean. I cannot say that i will make the ganga ‘pavitra’, i cannot use such a word.

PC: But you can clean it
UB: Ganga should remain perennial and positive and we hand it over to the younger generations.

PC:But now things have started getting unclean in your party, somebody is made PM, sometimes you say something, you are VP, you will be a part of the campaign,do you feel that at leader should lead the party, or whether people will vote your you in the party’s name.
UB: BJP is a ‘Rajnatik dal’ (political formation), and today it is difficult to keep away from politics because it affects everybody, it has affected your family, people from families work in the political party, hence the party is a big family.

PC:Today your party has no ideology, what is the difference between economic policies of your party and Congress party. They don’t talk about article 350, Ayodhya. Do you feel that for a party to win, ideology is not important, but one should have leadership, do you feel that you cannot win elections without a leader.
UB:For BJP, the Ramjanmabhoomi subject is a subject of ‘aastha’ (faith), be it article 370, uniform civil code, these are those issues which everybody knows that unless BJP gets a clear majority on its own, these cannot be implemented.

PC: These won’t be your election issues?
UB:These are issues of faith. Building a Ram temple on Ramjanmabhoomi should not be an election issue. I am one among those who says this always. This can be an issue of andolan.

PC:Do you think that the party needs leaders like Atalji today, a leader like Atalji, Indiraji, who have won elections. A national leader.
UB: Manytimes, ideology, or a group also does work of a leader.  The unity of group and its thoughts does the work of a leader many times.

PC: You think you don't need a leader now, ideology
UB: Am not saying that.

PC: One cannot understand what your group is today, one group is here, one is there.
UB: BJP parliamentary board will take a decision whether to go in for elections by projecting a leader, or as a group. I have no say on this issue.

PC: You are not a candidate
UB: You can say that too, as as a common party worker cannot have a say on these issue.

PC: One school of thought says Modi should be declared PM candidate before elections, people also say that central parliamentary board will decide. Do you feel that there is such rush to be prime ministerial candidate in your party, hence the difficulty, everyone is a Prime Minister, there is no worker.
UB: There is no race, there are so many capable people that anybody can become Prime Minister among them. I will repeat what Rajnathji said in Goa, that Modiji is BJP most popular leader among the people. One cannot deny that, hence this fact must be seen with utmost respect. The parliamentary board will decide whom to project leader, i am not a member of the parliamentary board, hence what can i say on that issue.  

PC:Once you had said, we read in papers, that how can Modiji become PM candidate, can people who can collect crowd become leaders. You said the biggest leader is Advaniji.
UB:The interview you are referring to, had not shown my answer in full. In response to the question i said that popularity in public alone cannot be the barometer, good governance is also a factor. This version was edited. And after that i decided never to give an interview to that english channel.

PC: You said, Varun Gandhi gathers crowd.
UB:Then while speaking you said that while deciding a prime ministerial candidate one has to see his capability had delivering good governance.

PC: But all your chief ministers are working well, Modiji, Shivraj Chauhan, he has won, he took over from your and won, and it seems he may win the third time, Raman Singh too is working well. Then speaking of governance, all these should be candidates.
UB: Now, in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, the state of Gujarat cannot be compared to any other state, even any other BJP compared state. Because in Gujarat, if your leave our 1 to 1.5 years of Shankar Singh Vaghela’s tenure, then since 1995 BJP government is there in Gujarat, Modiji has taken oath four times and we have won elections three times under his leadership. On the point of good governance, only development is not a factor, good law and order is also a part, corruption free system is a part, on all these parameters, Goa and Gujarat have got better acceptance as compared to all other states. I can say that Goa is a small state, with a lot of educated people. An educated person is not a victim of corruption, he contests many times. But in Gujarat, its not merely about development, it is about Good law and order and corruption free system.

PC: On count of good governance, you find Modi to be leading.
UB: Gujarat is ahead as far as good governance is concerned and that has been given by Narendra Modi. I will repeat what i said earlier, the country is a victim of feeling unsafe, people are in tension due to corruption, inflation, China scares us, our soldiers are beheaded,  women are scared to come out of their houses. In all this people feel that Narendra Modi can give guarantee of security.  

PC: Do you feel Modi would have been as popular if 2002 riots would not have happened and you must be in pain because he didn't apologize for what happened in Gujarat. You too think that what happened in 2002 was not right for the country.
UB: I feel that kind of politicization, and vote bank politics done by political parties on the issue of riots is wrong.

PC: Won't you criticize the riots
UB: No, the anti Sikh riots in our country were bigger, in which 10 to 20 thousand Sikhs were charred.

PC: Manmohan Singh has apologized but you are even scared of apologizing stating that you have done no wrong.
UB: Even the 50,000 deaths in Kedar ghati in Uttaranchal have been due to negligence of the minister.

PC: Was he the one who did the cloud burst?
UB: No, may be, you don't know the whole issue, there were heavy rains for three days, but the Kedar valley was not evicted. This was due to wrong decision, otherwise not even one person would have died in the disaster if people would have been taken out on the 16th, people died on 17th morning and it was raining on 14th, 15th, 16th.

PC: That was a natural disaster, but the kind of communal violence which happened in Gujarat
UB: If the government does not function well, it should certainly apologize.

PC: Do you feel it was good that 1000 people were allowed to die
UB: If feel you have taken religion as a basis for counting dead bodies, a lot many Hindu also died.

PC: Both died, if 1000 Hindu, died our1000 Muslim brothers also died. You say there was reaction to what happened in Godhra, but one should apologize for what happened in the regime, should not have happened.
UB: There is a political motive behind getting this said. It is about Hindu Muslim vote bank politics.

PC: You also do vote bank politics, the reason behind projecting Modi is that he is a Hindu Samrat.
UB: Am not known to be a cunning leader but let me tell it straight, if you want to get somebody to say something with a political motive in mind,then its answer would also be political.

PC: Which means you won’t apologize because it is politics, even if wrong right would have been done?
UB: There is a politics behind this question

PC: Neither Sangh people apologize, neither your leaders apologize, Atalji may be would have apologized, currently he doesn't speak, hence he has not apologized.
UB: Wrong and right is such an issue that even if one apologizes the issue would not be resolved.

PC: Umaji you have been chief minister, then you have been out of party, dont you think that your party has no issue, hence it is taking up the issue of nationalism, you want to win elections at communal level by projecting Modi, hence by saying that vote for Modi if you have to save Hindutva. You have no issue, your party cannot speak on corruption, because your party leaders are facing corruption charges. You too have said that Muslim brothers can only be saved by a Hinduvadi neta, is this a threat or an enticement.  
UB: Neither threat or enticement, it is the truth which i have said because fear was bred on me and people like us, and when people find that we are not like that , there would be no reason for fear.

PC: Hence they should vote for you
UB: Let them not vote, but try to understand. Even now i have said that don't think that Muslim would immediately start voting for BJP, to strengthen trust will take time because it has been broken over a period of 50-60 years, and a lot of machinery and propoganda was used for the same against us.

PC: But you dont change your langugage, you are MLA from UP, Vinay Katiyar, you go there and after wearing Bhagwa clothes say that temple would be built there, (mandir wahi banayenge), one fears that your issue is not development but just to make Ram Temple. What was the need of giving charge to Amit Shah.
UB: Amit Shah is general secretary of Bharatiya Janta Party, he had to get charge of some state,

PC: He could have been given West Bengal
UB: You call Rajnathji for this, not me.

PC: This is Rajnathji’s decision
UB: Yes

PC: You don’t have to say anything about it
UB: No, i cannot speak in defence of party.

PC: Why
UB: Am not party spokesperson. I can speak on ideology.

PC: What is your party ideology, BJP ideology.
UB: Our ideology is to give corruption free system to the country, a system which gives assurance of security because Congress is a communal party which does politics if corruption and vote bank, country should be free of it.

PC: In Karnataka too there was a lot of corruption under BJP tenure, in MP, Rajasthan charges have been levelled.Which leader of yours is not tainted by the corruption charge.
UB: When corruption charges were levelled against Yediurappaji, we knew if we take his resignation, we will lose in Karnataka, and we were ready to lose, but did not compromise on the issue of corruption.

PC: Now again there are talks of taking him back in the party.
UB: The talks are not happening at the party level, i dont know where these talks are on. I have considered Yadiurappa as a good leader, am pained that corruption charges were levelled against him, and charges were framed against him, we knew we wil lose Karnataka if we take his resignation, but we still took his resignation.

PC: Elections would soon happen in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, in MP you are not called, your rallies are not held, in Rajasthan Modiji’s rallies are not held, Shiv Raj Chauhan did not use Modiji’s photo, do you think that there would be some loss if you would be called or you feel they can win without you.
UB: I feel it is the last thing, if Shivraj feels that he can form a government without me, then he should, and he just wants my co-operation that i should not be seen there, then i won't be seen at all.

PC: But you still go there
UB: My home is there, i am a resident of Madhya Pradesh. Am not a rootless leader, i have a root there.

PC: You have no competition with him
UB: In my mind, there is no thought of competition with him.

PC: And posters of Modi were not put up
UB: I have said, if these leaders have such self confidence, that they can win elections on their own, then we will increase that confidence, we will not reduce it.

PC: You have been a chief minister, is it necessary to put photos of leaders
UB: Now BJP has taken decision, that in states where we are contesting elections, where the candidates of chief minister post are announced, we will do all co-operation necessary for them to win elections. If Shivraj feels me going there is a problem for him, then i will co operate by not going there.

PC: This is about you but am speaking about the state policy, in Rajasthan, Modi has not gone, he will go during Lok Sabha elections. Do you think the practice of using one chief minister’s photo in some other state’s chief minister’s elections is right. Or should there be photos of national president, Atalji, Advaniji as earlier has been happening.
UB: That is the decision of the state committee, i cannot say anything, and nobody can be under compulsion. It is not individual decision, it is state campaigning committee which decides.

PC: Umaji you are an MP from UP, there is law and order problem in UP, there are rapes, people are dying, Umaji is silent, there is no protest, no criticism, it seems Akhilesh is your younger brother and you forgive him, you are not contesting, fighting, because till you don’t win in UP, you government cannot form.
UB: I go to Vidhan Sabha constituency Charkhari, i meet people, i love people of Charkhari,  i go to Vidhan Sabha session, and if there is an issue of Vidhan Sabha, i meet officers, ministers. Secondly, in response to question you asked, the elections of 2012 in Uttar Pradesh, in Vidhan Sabha elections, four people were announced for the post of chief minister, Rajnathji, Kalrajji, Uma Bharti,  Surya Pratap Shahi, these four faces, even then i said don't do this. I am born in Madhya Pradesh and can contest lok sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh as Lok Sabha elections are held on national issues. I was not ready to contest Vidhan Sabha elections, and Nitin Gadkari and Arun Jaitley told me, that i can resign after elections, but i liked Charkhari so much, that i didnt leave it.

PC: But Shivraj is doing good work, as the party thinks. Now there is no leader in UP, Rajnathji has become national president. Dont you think if you go in UP, there would be no competition here, if somebody thinks like that. Mandir is going to be built there, votes are going to come from there, but why Uma Bharati is scared of going to UP.
UB: I am not scared, i don't have a responsibility because of which i can say that i have come to UP to struggle.

PC: You have Ganga responsiblity.
UB: I am working full time on Ganga. But you have to see, Ganga is an issue in which Azam Khan, Nitish Kumar, Vijay Bahuguna is with us.

PC: But you dont want to take charge of leadership in UP
UB: No, if the party gives me charge, i will take it.

PC: You will contest Lok Sabha elections in UP, if they party tells you to.
UB: Yes

PC: You yourself have the inclination to contest it from there
UB: From wherever Rajnathji says.

PC: If Rajnathji says you wont contest from MP
UB: From whereever Rajnathji says

PC:What would you prefer
UB: I have no preference, gods grace is on me that i can contest elections from any state.

PC: Am saying UP, because you contested election from Bundhelkhand, why don't you struggle for forming Bundelkhand as a separate state.
UB: There is no need for struggle there as people have already formed their mind that Bundhelkhand should be separate state.Whenever there is an announcement, Bundhelkhand would have priority. There are technical reasons why it is not happening. A part of MP is also being demanded in Bundhelkhand. And MP people are not ready for inclusion i separate state of Bundhelkhand. If that issue of resolved, like in Jharkhand, Orissa and MP were given up, the same day Bundhelkhand would be formed.

PC: Mood is in favour of small state, Mayawati said there should be four small states. You support it, but your party leaders are not taking any initiative at national level.
UB: No, the reason for the same is that the state division should be done taking all things into consideration.

PC: The issue is of division of UP
UB: A part of UP will become Bundelkhand.

PC: Ajit Singh is demanding Harit Pradesh also
UB: Whenever we talk of formation of a new state, then the geographic, economic, employment, all these things have to be seen. Mayawati’s announcement was political.

PC: Uma Bharati has not been able to define her role till now
UB: Am working for Ganga.

PC: You dont know what work you have in BJP
UB: That Rajnathji will decide

PC: Till now you have no work
UB: Till now i have no work

PC: And you dont want to, you are with the ideology, but yet to connect with the party.
UB: That is not the case. I am fully connected with the ideology, and i have good relations with BJP leaders, and it is co-incidence that Rajnathji is president, and since younger days i have had brother, sister relations with him, and those are individual relations. But it is true that i have no assigned work in BJP organisation, i am just working on the Ganga abhiyan.

PC: You had left the parivaar, now members of family are a bit hesitant to accept you
UB: I do not think acceptance is an issue, may be there are some reservations from my side too.  I dont take much interest in other issues except Ganga.

PC: What is your future, if you are not taking interest in party, only on the issue of Ganga, are you are leader or a sanyasin.
UB: Ganga is the identity of the country,  

PC: Uma Bharti is not working to make Modi Prime Minister, you say the one who party selects would become. UP, you are not taking interest, what does Uma Bharti want to do.
UB: For cow, poor and Ganga, i will do efforts as much as i can.

PC: Not for BJP
UB: When BJP says i will do.

PC: Lets see, many people are scared also when you may say something. Thank you for coming to your studio.
UB: Namaskar.