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Anurag Thakur Interview: 'Only BJP can ensure stability and growth'

In an interview with DH’s Amrita Madhukalya, Thakur talks about Kejriwal, the Muslim reservation issue, and predicts that the BJP will cross 400. Excerpts:
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 20:29 IST
Last Updated : 13 May 2024, 20:29 IST

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Union minister Anurag Thakur is pursuing a fifth term from the Hamirpur Lok Sabha constituency in Himachal Pradesh, even as by-elections in six seats of the state assembly draw near. Campaigning in the seat with a roadshow that saw the presence of his father, former CM and BJP veteran P K Dhumal, Thakur asks for votes because of the work that he has done in the region. In an interview with DH’s Amrita Madhukalya, Thakur talks about Kejriwal, the Muslim reservation issue, and predicts that the BJP will cross 400. Excerpts

Political analysts say that the BJP will lose seats this term and that low voter turnout is a cause for worry. 

I think the Congress and the Opposition’s workers are demoralised; they can’t see the party doing well, and they are not coming out to vote because they foresee defeat. But all I want to say is that voting is very important, and I will only request that they vote for my party. Because only the BJP can bring more stability and continuity as far as government policies and the growth of this country are concerned. 

I don’t see any reason why the decreased voting turnout, which adds up to 5% across the last three phases, will impact the prospects of the BJP. People have made up their minds that the BJP is coming to power, and that’s why the opposition has stooped so low that they are reaching out to countries like Pakistan or Pakistani supporters.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has said that Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren should not have resigned, and if any Opposition leader goes to jail now, they should not leave their constitutional posts. How do you see that? 

Even Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar must be surprised and astonished at the kind of position that Arvind Kejriwal has taken. How can a corrupt chief minister, who is in jail on corruption charges, still be willing to run the government? The makers of the Constitution never imagined or visualised a clause that somebody has to be thrown out. He is the only example. 

PM Modi, in his speeches, has spoken about mangalsutras and other emotive issues. Do you think that the BJP’s campaign this time is veered towards emotive issues and not on the works of the last 10 years? 

I think the prime minister is creating awareness among the masses because the Congress is trying to deviate the discussion from the good governance and development model of Modiji. They are trying to divert attention from his strong leadership, so we have to expose the manifesto of Congress and their thought process. They have taken away 5% from the reservation for Scheduled Castes and Other Backward Castes in Congress-ruled states. They have also said now that people with more children will get more money; that is a clear indication of appeasement politics. Not only this, in the past, they ensured Dr Ambedkar’s loss in elections and never gave him due credit. 

It was the Modi government that made the panch teerth in Nagpur, Mau, Mumbai, Delhi, and London and also celebrated Constitution Day on November 26. In PM Kisan and Bima Fasal Yojana, 71% of beneficiaries are SC/STs, and 58% in PM Awas Yojana and Mudra Yojana. The BJP has worked for SC, ST, and OBC communities. Our president is from the ST community, and the prime minister is from the OBC community, if one needs to look at it from the caste angle. It is the Congress that is trying to divide on the basis of region, religion, and caste. 

In the Muslim reservation issue, NDA partner Chandrababu Naidu has come out in support, saying that in Andhra, they will continue... A government report has shown the growth rate of Muslim population, which the Opposition says is timed. How do you see all this? 

The numbers are astonishing; the Hindu population numbers have gone down by 7.8%, whereas the Muslim population has gone up by 45%. This is a significant number. That is why the Congress is trying to do appeasement politics, and they are trying to dole out all the possible assets to the community. 

This region has sent the CM and the deputy CM to the state. And there are by-elections for the six MLAs. How good do you think this election will be?

The by-polls are happening here because MLAs have no faith in the current leadership of the Congress party; they were marginalised, their work was not done, and the progress and development work had stopped. They wanted to shift to the BJP, a party that believes in good governance and development. I personally feel we will win all four seats in the Lok Sabha and all six seats that are going for the by-election in the Vidhan Sabha. We will score both a chaukka (boundary) and a chakka (sixer). 

What are the key issues on which you think elections will be fought? 

Development and the security and safety of the country, because the country needs a strong and stable government. Continued policies can make India a Viksit Bharat. I’m sure the people will support us in that. 

You have been one of the party’s chief whips in the Lok Sabha. Do you think that the Treasury benches will have fewer BJP MPs this time?

I don’t think so. The BJP in 2019 won 303 seats, and in 170 seats we were the runners-up. I’m sure this time we will cross 370, and NDA will touch the 400 mark.

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Published 13 May 2024, 20:29 IST

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