Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will lead BJP In the upcoming assembly elections in the hill state. in an interview to Indian ExpressHe says the ruling party will not engage in competitive populism ahead of the elections. Thakur explains why he believes BJP will return to power and discusses Congress’s prospects Aam Aadmi Party (You).
The BJP has announced that it will contest the elections under your leadership. how do you feel
He has put faith in me. In these five years he has seen my work. It is a matter of happiness and pride to be declared the Chief Ministerial candidate again. But it also brings great responsibility. Now, it is my duty to bring the party back to power.
A second consecutive term for the party in power has been a rarity in the state.
That’s right but we will do that. When I entered politics and contested my first election, I wondered whether I would win? I won I won again and again and became MLA for the fifth time. Now if you ask me will we win, yes, we will win a second time. This is self-confidence, not over-confidence.
What makes you think that?
I have been touring the state. Earlier, when elections were approaching, people used to be indifferent towards the ruling party. This time there is enthusiasm among people, there is great enthusiasm (this time, people are full of enthusiasm, extraordinary enthusiasm). There is also a lot of enthusiasm (about our party).
I have visited 40 assembly constituencies in the last 10-15 days. I’ll cover all 68 of them. The public’s message is clear: We will come back with a comfortable majority. Although I will not put any figures on the seats.
How do you see the prospects of Congress?
Yeh baat ta hai ka humara muqa hai (Congress se hai) (it is certain that we will fight against Congress). But Congress is blind, leaderless and directionless. They are still relying on their old leaders, they are putting up their pictures and hoping for victory.
By old leaders do you mean late Virbhadra Singh?
Yes, he was their senior most leader, the only tall leader they had. He was the only one who could keep the Congress swarm together. Now, they are wandering.
Aam Aadmi Party is also this time for the third time? How do you see their prospects?
You have no stand in the state. No doubt they tried to establish themselves here, but without success. His former state president joined our party. Many of his important leaders also followed suit. His Himachal in-charge (Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain) is in jail. Then they had to dissolve their decision-making bodies and re-constitute them.
Historically, the electoral battle (in the hill state) has always been only between the BJP and the Congress. There is no place for a third. Whenever any third party tried to enter the fray, be it Sharad Pawar Nationalist Congress Party Or any other outfit, people did not accept it. In such a situation, you can get an idea of how much loss will be caused to you (in the state).
When In Punjab won, then there was a little concern (when he won the Punjab assembly elections, we got a little worried). But soon his real face came to the fore. His health minister (Vijay Singla) went to jail on corruption charges. Law and order became another major problem in Punjab. Now his steam has run out. People have seen through his designs. In fact, his Punjab model has had a negative impact in Himachal.
Congress has promised 300 units of electricity to domestic consumers and Rs 1,500 per month to women. AAP has also promised 300 units of electricity to domestic consumers and Rs 1,000 per month to women.
Where will you do it (from where will you do it)? The people of Himachal are so intelligent that they destroy such hollow promises. They are not fools. We are giving 125 units of electricity free of cost. This is a matter of relief for some sections of the society, whose consumption is limited. Broadly speaking, poor households (for example, those who use three bulbs and consume about 60 units) and middle class households (for example, those who use six bulbs and consume about 120 units). do) come under it. We are also giving 50% discount on bus fare to women. But, remember, this is a discount, not a free trip.
So, you won’t go beyond 125 units? So, no freebies?
We have done what deserved to be done. We did what was in the interest of everyone and the state.
Will you be able to persuade the voters?
yes of course.
The Congress has also promised to restore the old pension scheme.
This is a great point. But doing so is easier said than done. Ask Congress’s senior election observer for Himachal (Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel) how this scheme is performing in Chhattisgarh. See how is going in Rajasthan. Effective implementation is not taking place. Apart from this, there is also a memorandum between the Center and the states. How do you come out of this? Then the money is deposited under NPS (New Pension System) and invested in the market. where will it go? But, of course, this is a big issue. We are trying to find a way out.
Congress is trying to grab your Hindutva throne a bit by promising to buy milk and cow dung from farmers at a cheaper rate of Rs 2 per kg.
Yes, they are trying to woo our voters. But this announcement has had no effect. There is no discussion about it in the state (there is no discussion about it in the state).
Recently, in-principle approval was given for Bulk Drug Park in Haroli Assembly Constituency.
This is a big achievement for the entire state. Himachal Pradesh is number one in Asia in terms of pharmaceutical manufacturing. We put in a lot of effort to get to this park. The park will have a major impact in Una district.
Even your critics believe that you have a clean image, but you are not able to rein in the bureaucracy.
I have my own style of working. I believe relationships work. So, I try to build a personal relationship with the authorities. I’m tough when I need to be tough.
Recently, State Public Service Commission appointments were notified but later the notification was withdrawn. The opposition alleges that this happened after the intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office.
This has happened before (it has happened before). There are examples. There was no consensus on the two names. Therefore, extensive discussions were held. There is nothing new in this.
It is said that the PMO had demanded an inquiry against the then Chief Secretary Ram Subhag Singh as he was accused of corruption. But, instead, you replaced him.
Many complaints are anonymous, many complaints are made only to harass the government, many complaints are made with bad intentions. There is no need to take cognizance of each of them.
It is said that you brought in a clean image officer RD Dhiman as the Chief Secretary just to win the election.
Shifting and shuffling is a routine process. Nothing should be read in it.
During Saturday’s rally in Lower Kanger village of Una district, Union Minister Anurag Thakur left early after delivering the speech. Is everything okay at the party?
he had a flight to catch Chandigarh 7.30 pm.
But as per their official itinerary, the flight was scheduled at 9 pm.
He had to go somewhere.
Former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal has expressed his desire to contest the elections.
I am not aware of this. But if he is willing to contest, the senior leadership of the party will decide (on his candidature).
Will the Modi factor work in Himachal this time?
Definitely! Modi ji has a special attachment to Himachal Pradesh. He considers Himachal as his second home. The Modi factor will have a huge impact.