New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that the BJP will win the Assembly elections scheduled to be held this year and also form the government in 2024 under the leadership of Prime Minister Nardenra Modi again.
During an interaction with IANS, Gadkari also blamed the Congress-led government in Punjab for the lapse in the security of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying “this has never happened in the history of Indian democracy”.
The Union Minister also spoke about several other issues, including the political situation in Punjab.
Q: Despite all the political differences, allegations and counter allegations, there has been a political tradition in the country that no political game play happens over the security of individuals holding constitutional posts. How serious, do you consider, the matter of lapse in the security of the Prime Minister in Punjab?
A: It is very unfortunate. In a democracy, there has been a tradition regarding the post of President and Prime Minister that everyone respects them. There can be differences in politics but such politics has not happened in the country till date… It has not happened in the history of Indian democracy that the Prime Minister has not been able to attend his programme due to the lack of security by the state government. The incident is sad and unfortunate. The more it is condemned, the less it is.
Q: But the Congress is not accepting it as a “mistake”. The party said the farmers were angry on the BJP-led government, so they taught a lesson to your “arrogant government”.
A: The world knows the Prime Minister could not move ahead as he was stopped on the bridge. The responsibility of providing security to the Prime Minister and the responsibility of handling law and order was with the state government. Why did they let people sit on the road? Why were barricades not put up? The state government should answer why the police did not stop those people. It is clearly visible that the people who blocked the road had the support of the Congress government of Punjab. The government is responsible for this unfortunate incident and they should take responsibility for it but they are doing politics on this too… it is wrong and unfortunate. When we are in the state or Central government, we are the representatives of the government, not the party.
Q: Let’s talk about Uttar Pradesh. You have been visiting the state for inauguration and foundation laying. So far, as the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, what gifts have you given to the people of the state and what are the plans for the future?
A: So far in Uttar Pradesh, we have completed 4,500 km of road works by spending an amount of more than Rs 1.80 crore. The work on 3,000 km is underway. We have announced projects worth more than Rs 3 lakh crore, and will do more work worth Rs 5 lakh crore in Uttar Pradesh in the coming five years. We will make US-like infrastructure in the state in the next five years.
Q: But Akhilesh Yadav is saying that he had started the work, and you (BJP) people are just visiting and cutting ribbons…
A: Everything is on record. It was us who started these projects and we are inaugurating them. Now, the election is round the corner, and since he is in the Opposition, he has to say something.
Q: According to you, what is going to be the biggest issue in the Uttar Pradesh elections?
A: Law and order has improved in Uttar Pradesh, and for that, the credit has to be given to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the force with which he has ended the “goondaraj”, and has provided security to the common people. People have faith and confidence in him. Apart from this, as a result of the developmental work done by the Central and state governments in every field, we will definitely get the support of the people, and also form the government in the state with a thumping majority.
Q: You have termed law and order, and development as major election issues, but as the elections are getting closer, again Ayodhya, Ram Mandir and Kashi Vishwanath are being discussed and now the issue of Mathura is also being picked up…
A: The construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya is not a political question but a symbol of the country’s history, heritage and culture and we do not want it to become a political issue. Such issues should not be dragged into politics.
Q: But your Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister talk about Mathura. An MP says it is Lord Krishna’s wish to make Yogi Adityanath contest from Mathura. Akhilesh Yadav also talks about his dreams…
A: I do not have the details of who has said what. So I will not comment on it. I would only say that our government has done unprecedented developmental work. We should go to the people’s court regarding those work. People are looking at the “changed Uttar Pradesh”.
Q: How many seats will BJP win in Uttar Pradesh?
A: BJP is going to win the state like last time, and we are going to form the government again in the state under the leadership of Yogi Adityanath and Keshav Prasad Maurya.
Q: Till now, no party has been able to form the government for the second consecutive time in Uttarakhand. BJP also had to change three chief ministers in the state, so what is the probability of BJP winning there?
A: Even in Uttarakhand, the overall atmosphere is in favour of the BJP. I am looking into a project of Chardham worth Rs 12,000 crore there. The road from Pithoragarh to Mansarovar is being built. AIIMS has been established in the state under the leadership of PM Modi. Ganga river has become clean and purer. People are happy with our work, and we will definitely get its benefit in the elections. Our government will make a comeback in the state.
Q: Last time in Goa, your party had won fewer seats than the Congress, but you defeated the Congress and formed the government in the state. What is the situation this time?
A: In Goa also, we will form the government… It is my belief. (Late Goa Chief Minister) Manohar Parrikar did a good job in the state and Pramod Sawant has done an equally good job after him. Only my ministry has done work worth Rs 23,000 crore in the state. Goa is changing and we are going to form the government there again.
Q: The condition of Manipur in 2017 was also similar to that of Goa. There too, you had barely formed your government by defeating the Congress by getting the support of other parties. What do you expect this time?
A: Considering the overall atmosphere I witnessed in Manipur, I can definitely say that our government will be re-elected there.
Q: Once again, talking about Punjab, for the first time you are going to fight elections in the state in the role of “elder brother” after parting ways with the Akali Dal.
A: We have had an alliance with the Akali Dal in Punjab for a long time. Together, we used to contest around 20 seats but this time we have got a chance to contest more seats. This time, the party will definitely expand in the state and our strength will increase.
Q: The roads also carry development along with it. But when it comes to road transport, safe and comfortable travel comes first. What have been the achievements of your ministry in this regard?
A: The condition of roads were improved, and expressways and highways were made. Everything has changed… however, I have not been able to do till now, it makes me said, and I have no problem in accepting it. I am talking about accidents which cause a loss of 3-4 per cent to the GDP of the country. But more than the economic loss, I am saddened by the loss of lives. I have tried a lot for this but the success that should have been achieved, is yet to be achieved. I am very sad about this, but I will continue to work along with the co-operation of all the parties in the coming times… and I am sure that one day we will get success on this issue as well.
Q: You are heard talking of, and trying continuously about many things like pollution, engine of vehicles, green hydrogen, ethanol etc. How much success has been achieved on this front so far?
A: We have achieved a lot on all these issues. I am talking about ethanol since 2004. Cars will run on ethanol instead of petrol. 100 per cent petrol or 100 per cent ethanol, anything can be used. Many companies have agreed to make such engines and in the coming days many other companies will also be ready. With this, farmers will get good price, youth will get employment and pollution will also be reduced. Green fuel, green hydrogen and more electric vehicles will change the whole environment of the country. Our dependence on oil imports will be reduced and I assure you that in the coming times, we will not import energy but will export on a large scale. This will be a huge work in the direction of self-reliant India.
Q: The year 2022 is going to start with the Assembly elections of five states including Uttar Pradesh, and will end with Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat Assembly elections. How do you think 2022 will decide that who is going to win the Lok Sabha in 2024?
A: We will win the elections in 2022, and by winning the elections in 2024 we will form the government again under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi… there is no doubt in my mind about this.