Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah in an exclusive conversation with NewsX spoke on various issues including strengthening the party, BJP being number two party in Bengal, 2019 Lok Sabha elections and the Opposition.

Putting his thought forward on Bengal government’s recent controversy where chief minister Mamata Banerjee restricted the time of Durga idol immersion as the festival was coinciding with Muḥarram, Amit Shah said, “Apart from how I see it, people of West Bengal are not looking at it nicely. If people can’t go there and express their point of view people don’t like this kind of Bengal.”

“If you can’t immerse the idol of Durga then the people of Bengal don’t want to see this kind of Bengal. By the time Mamata Banerjee will realise this, it will be too late.”

“Today we are number two party in West Bengal. Recent four election of Panchayat parliament local bodies and by election of Vidhan Sabha we have reached number two there. Where as we were number three or four before. I think it’s a good progress. When you are number two then all the anti-incumbency of the government gets transferred to number two. I am very hopeful that we will perform well there and also get good result,” Amit Shah said. 

The Bengal government was also surrounded in a controversy after a permission to hold a public event by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was denied by the authorities.  

Talking about strengthening the party further, Amit Shah said, “All these travel is not for 2019. It is to take the BJP worker to every booth and to strengthen the organisation. We had decided on the centenary of Deendayal Upadhyay that we will expand the ideology and strengthen the organisation.”

“Not few but we want to strengthen our base in every state,” Amit Shah said.

Speaking on BJP’s target of 350 plus seats in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Amit Shah said, “All the talks of 350 was spread by media. Election of 2019 is far.”

Mentioning about party’s position in Odhisa, Amit Shah said, “We are going to form government in Odhisa with a big margin. There is a massive discontent against BJD. There is a major anger in the masses and the BJP is expanding rapidly. Results are also reflecting that. There was not a single BJP in zila panchayat but today we are there in 9 zila panchayat. And we will perform very well in many seats.”

Another state that will witness a high pitched political battle between BJP, CPI(M) and other regional parties is the state of Kerala as it will be going to assembly elections soon. Several BJP top guns have had their visits to the state, preparing for the forthcoming poll.   

Speaking about Kerala, Amit Shah said, “After the formation of communist government in Kerala 13 cadre have been killed. I believe that this kind of violence politics should not take place. And the left govt will have to think about it. We are going to the people of Kerala with his issue. Let’s see how it unfolds. This is for the people to decide.”

“We have not asked for President rule in Kerala. We are trying to strengthen our base in every state.”

Amit Shah also spoke about the poor condition of Gujarat during the era of 1995 and said, “I never said that there is a propaganda against BJP. I said that youth has not seen that there was no power in Gujarat … they have not seen that while if Gujarat was under curfew they have not seen that.”

Taking a pot shot on the Congress party, the BJP President said, “From 1995 there is our (BJP) government. So I was telling that remember what was the situation like during Congress rule. I appealed to then that they should vote on the basis of the work done by us. The youth of Gujarat should realise that out of 365 days there was curfews for 200 days. There were attacks on Rath Yatra. There was power outages for more than 12 to 17 hours. You had to dig water pipeline for more than 3 feet. Out of 19000 villages, water was provided through water tankers. Gujarat was in the dark zone.”

“That Gujarat should be compared with today’s Gujarat. There should be competitive study,” Amit Shah said. 

“Congress tries hard every time. They tried in 95, 98, 2002, 2007 and also in 2017. Every party tries their level best. It is for them to decide what they will do. Ours is clear that we will fight under the NDA taking along all our allies respectfully under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi.”

Sharing his thoughts on opposition’s role, Amit Shah said, “Opposition is good for democracy but do you think that it is my job to strengthen it. It is the duty of the opposition to strengthen itself. I believe that in democracy there should be opposition.” 

First Published | 18 September 2017 1:18 PM
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