I have age, time to be chief minister in future, says Ashoka

Padmanabhanagar BJP candidate R Ashoka. DH Photo/Srikanta Sharma R.

A prominent leader in the state BJP, R Ashoka has held top portfolios. He was also the deputy chief minister in the BJP government. Ashoka says that he has the age and time to be the chief minister in the future if the party decides.

In a candid interview, he spoke to Poornima Nataraj of DH, while on a break during the campaign trail.

It is a practice in the BJP that people above 75 years of age are looked as ‘margadarshakas’. Since B S Yeddyurappa is already 75 years of age, do you think you have an opportunity if the party wins?

The party has declared B S Yeddyurappa as the chief minister candidate. I do not know about the future. Right now, Amit Shah is the national president for the BJP. We do not know who will succeed him. I do not want to create any controversy. It is the party which decides the chief minister candidate. But I can say that I have an opportunity as I have the age and time.

Has the Congress government developed the city in the past five years?

Rain revealed the true colours of the Congress government. The entire city turned into a pothole and 16 people died. Even during floods, so many people did not die. The BJP ruled for only five years. It was the Congress government’s decisions which have ruined the city.

How is the law and order situation in the city?

Twenty-four political murders of Hindus have been committed under this government’s rule. It was done to target the BJP. Besides, everyone knows about Mohammed Nalapad Haris’s incident. Petrol Narayanaswamy tried to burn the entire corporation office. Lokayukta judge was stabbed in his chamber in broad daylight. When we look at these incidents, do you think law and order are maintained in the city?

Why didn’t you oppose strongly when Lokayukta was disabled?

We strongly protested against destabilisation of the Lokayukta. It was the BJP government which gave maximum power to the Lokayukta. If we are voted to power, we will reinstate it.

The BJP initially proposed the white-topping project. Now the Congress has taken it over?

The BJP government was the first to initiate the white-topping and tender was called for Rs 7 crore at places and junctions where roads used to wear out frequently after every rain. But this government proposed for Rs 14 crore and has estimated Rs 8 crore for the national highway. The Congress is using the white-topping fund as its ATM for poll expenditure.

Bellandur lake issue was sidelined when the BJP was in power?

When did lakes catch fire when we were in power. Toxins increased. Siddaramiah is like a fire, he torches fire between castes.

Finally, he lit the fire in the lakes too like a miracle man. We had planned to develop all the lakes in the city and handed over the development work to the BDA and the BBMP. When I was the district minister, 22 lakes were rejuvenated.

If the BJP comes to power, will you be the Bengaluru district in-charge minister?

An ordinary BJP worker was made the deputy chief minister. The party knows what Ashoka is. It will decide on who will take over Bengaluru development work. My interest is Bengaluru as I was born here and have lived all my life and will also die here.

What is BJP’s manifesto for Bengaluru?

Rejuvenation of lakes is our priority. The Congress wanted to divide city’s administration. But we will not allow that. Brand Bengaluru is on the international map and as our Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Bengaluru should not just be Karnataka’s capital, but India’s capital also.

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I have age, time to be chief minister in future, says Ashoka

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