(G.N.S) Dt. 17
Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said that the BJP had taken lessons from its defeat in Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha bypolls and would work to ensure that such a result is not repeated. In his first comments on the recent setbacks for BJP in bypolls, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the BJP now realises that there is no such thing like invincibility in elections and they will ensure that such defeats are not repeated.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said that the government at the Centre was not only ready to protect India’s borders from inside the country but also from “outside the country” making an apparent reference to growing hostilities with Pakistan and the issue of security and international terrorism.
Speaking at News18’s Rising India Summit in New Delhi, Singh stressed on the need for a collective effort in ‘rising India’.
“It’s not that our government is single-handedly responsible for ‘Rising India’. Farmers, intellectuals, scientists, etc, are all responsible for India’s growth,” he said.
Singh also said that the government took pride in the fact that in the last four years under the Narendra Modi government, “not a single minister of our government was charged with corruption”.
On BJP’s defeat in the Gorakhpur bypolls, Singh gave a vague answer, saying, “Now we have come to know such things also happen. They will not happen again.”
He also spoke on banking frauds like the Punjab National Bank scam. “A lot of people have been saying that people who fled the nation after banking fraud were facilitated by the government. But it was this government that exposed these fraudsters,” he said.
“This government introduced the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill so that people can’t leave the country by looting our money,” he added.
On the issue of relations with Pakistan, the home minister said that the government wanted to ensure that India had good relations with its neighbours. “But Pakistan just doesn’t listen. A UN-designated terrorist is being allowed to form a political party in Pakistan,” he said. Singh’s comments at a media event came days after the BJP lost sitting seats Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh. Gorakhpur was represented by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Phulpur by Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Chandra Maurya.
“Ho gaya, aage nahin hoga. (It happened. Now, we will ensure it won’t be repeated,” Singh initially said when asked about his reaction to the results. He added, “humein pata chala ki aisa bhi ho sakta hain (We know that this result is also a possibility).”
Till now, no senior central leader has commented on the election results though party chief Amit Shah has called a meeting for analysing where the BJP went wrong. The defeat in Gorakhpur has come as more dearly as it was considered a BJP stronghold with Adityanath representing the seat since 1998.
Adityanath had cited overconfidence and failure to realise the importance of the pre-poll understanding between Samajwadi Party and BSP as the reasons for the defeat.
Asked about Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s criticism against the government, Singh said as opposition leader he would keep saying this and added, “time will tell against whom India was rising.” Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that “India is rising”, Gandhi had retorted, “India is rising against you.”
He was asked whether what would be the one thing he would like to do. if he becomes the Prime Minister. “I am not over-ambitious. There is a role for everyone. One’s status would not rise just because one gets a particular position. But yes, if one is given the opportunity, they must fulfil it. Our Prime Minister is doing a very good job,” he said.
The home minister also said that “there has been a 75 percent reduction in incidents linked to insurgency in the North East under our government. That’s why we have come to power there today.”
He also spoke on the Kashmir issue. “Kashmir was ours, is ours and will be ours. No power in the world can take Kashmir away from us,” he said. “Children of Kashmir are also ours. Hence, I asked the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister to remove all stone-pelting cases against those children. They must have been brainwashed,” he added.
Singh also said that even though Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was not a threat to India’s internal security, “no institution should be misused by a political party for political gains”.
“No country in the world can deny that India is changing and moving forward. India is the fastest growing economy in the world. India’s GDP growth rate is about to reach 7.5 percent,” he said. “In the global community, reputed economists also accept that India is the world’s fastest growing economy,” he added.
“We want to see India among the developed countries in the world,” said the home minister.
Singh also said that no country can develop in a day or even a year. “A country takes decades to rise and India is rising rapidly,” he added.
The home minister then said that “small changes” made by the government have made life easier for people. “The government has brought about many structural and procedural changes. We brought about GST. I don’t say that our government initiated GST. It was initiated in 2002. There were problems with the Planning Commission, so we brought about NITI Aayog,” he said.
“This government did away with the need to attest documents by a gazetted officer,” he said.
On the issue of unemployment, Singh said, “We need to uplift the last strata of the society. As far as unemployment is considered, no government can say that we can employ all of India. If they have skills, they can provide with employment. Startup India and Skill India are movements towards the same.”
“Our government decided that poor people, who are suffering from serious illness, will be given a Rs 5 lakh annual health cover. Our scientists manufactured the Mars satellite at the lowest possible cost,” he also said.
“I believe that the time is not far when we will say that India has reached the top five nations, and soon we will be saying that India has become a super economic nation,” Singh said.
On Rahul Gandhi’s remark that India was rising against BJP, Singh said, “Rahul Gandhi is our Opposition leader. He will keep saying things but time will tell against whom India is rising.”
(G.N.S) Dt. 17