BJP not celebrating, only giving report of work to people: Shah

BJP not celebrating, only giving report of work to people: Shah

BJP not celebrating, only giving report of work to people: Shah

Dismissing Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's criticism that the NDA government was celebrating completion of its two years in office when several states were facing drought, BJP chief Amit Shah today said the party was only giving a report of its work to the people.

"Do you see celebration in this? This is not a celebration. I feel, taking government's work to people through the press, interacting directly with people, giving an account as per its mandate is not celebration," he told reporters here when asked about Gandhi's comments.

Alleging that Gandhi only made media statements and indulged in symbolism, Shah said the NDA government helped improve the lives of the poor.

"Rahul Gandhiji only makes statements. I want to ask him, what happened to that Kalavati at whose house you stayed. We have tried to provide electricity and also gas to her. He just got a photograph taken (with her)," he said.

Kalavati Bandurkar, a Vidarbha farmer widow shot to fame after Rahul Gandhi visited her in 2008 and narrated her plight in Parliament.

Asked about Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge's criticism on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's foreign visits, he said Modi made less number of visits abroad in comparison to his predecessor Manmohan Singh.

"I want to make it clear that Prime Minister (Modi) made few visits than Manmohan Singh. But, the problem was nobody came to know in the country or in that country when he (Singh) visited. He used to read two pages of his speech in English. Sometimes even pages changed. He used to read Thailand's (speech) in Malaysia and Malaysia's (speech) in Thailand. Modiji is welcomed wherever he goes...," he said.

Asked whether BJP would reach out to regional parties like TDP and TRS for passing bills in the Rajya Sabha as equations of strength were set to change, he said everybody in Rajya Sabha should support the government's development agenda irrespective of party politics.

"BJP's effort is to see that everybody should support the development agenda in Rajya Sabha irrespective of party politics. It is true that it will benefit us if the strength of our friends increases on every issue of development," Shah said.

On the Union Cabinet reshuffle, he said, "It is for the Prime Minister to decide. When it happens, you will get information." 

On the reported negative comments of ally Shiv Sena in Maharashtra against its ruling partner BJP, Shah said there was democracy within the NDA.

"There is democracy in NDA. Don't worry about Shiv Sena, we will manage," he said.

When asked about measures to deal with drought situation in states, he said the Prime Minister has held separate meetings with chief ministers (of affected states) instead of organising a meeting all of states.

"The Centre understood the needs of each state for taking drought-relief measures," he said.

To a query on return of Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir, he said there were no differences between BJP and its ally PDP on the issue.

"(J&K CM) Mehboobaji also said Kashmiri Pandits should reside there. There are no differences between the two parties," he said.

On the steps taken to bring back black money, he said the NDA government in its first Cabinet meeting itself had decided to hand over the issue to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) against Congress government which allegedly withheld information on the matter for long.

Shah also said that the issue of announcing a Chief Ministerial candidate for Uttar Pradesh elections has not been discussed.

Asked if there is a possibility of alliance between BJP and TRS, he said, "No such application has been received from TRS so far. We will think of it if somebody says.

 We feel BJP is going to emerge as a major force in Telangana. You can see in 2019 elections."

Shah asserted that the BJP was committed to the development of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

To a query on the promise of special status to Andhra Pradesh, he said there was an "administrative problem" on the matter in wake of 14th Finance Commission's recommendations.

"There is some administrative problem on special status due to the 14th Finance Commission. But, we will resolve it... and we will work in the direction of the promise that was made in Parliament. We alone have not made the promise, that was made in Parliament of the country," he said.

The promise of special status to Seemandhra (new Andhra Pradesh) was made by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the floor of Parliament at the time of passage of Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act 2014.

Shah also gave a detailed account of the number of achievements of the NDA government in two years on various fronts.