Handpicked by Congress president Rahul Gandhi to steer party activities in Gujarat, young leader Rajeev Satav is confident of bettering the BJP in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state. Satav, the AICC in-charge of Gujarat, tells DH that people are fed up with Modi's flair for speeches and inaction.
Gujarat witnessed several incidents of violence against migrants. What was the reason?
This is BJP's typical politics of the past 23 years of diverting issues. It is a BJP fabricated and BJP sponsored propaganda. It was a law and order issue, it was an issue completely within the jurisdiction of the state government, which failed miserably. This is a typical Gujarat model of governance.
How will it pan out across election going states?
People across the country have come to know the BJP's style of governance. The BJP will not benefit from this politics of divisiveness. In Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan and elsewhere, people are openly supporting the Congress because of the way they have ruled in these states. There was no progress and there was no development.
There were allegations against a Congress MLA for inciting violence against migrants?
It is BJP's policy to defame the Congress. They have the law enforcement agencies at their command, if someone is guilty then what are they waiting for?
There is also disquiet within the Gujarat Congress?
There were certain organisational issues, but they have been resolved. Gujarat is the model state for the Congress for public outreach. The state leadership is making every effort to connect with the people. For the past 23 years we have been out of power, but the kind of support we got in the last Assembly elections, it was a trailer, the real film will be in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. People are fed up with speeches and inaction.
How do you rate the performance of the Gujarat government?
There is complete policy paralysis in the state. They have failed on every front and are trying to create issues such as attacks on migrants to divert the attention of the people from real issues of unemployment, farmers distress, water scarcity, lack of development, jobless growth and law and order problem.
Still many Congress leaders are joining BJP? Is BJP making a comeback?
Those who have left the Congress were persons who were defeated by the people and got nothing in the party.
Will Rahul Gandhi be the Congress' PM candidate in the Lok Sabha elections?
Yes, he is the face of the Congress and if we get the majority, he will be our prime minister. We are very confident of our victory in the 2019 elections and it is not about the Congress winning, but the people of India winning. Next election will be between the BJP and the Constitution, the BJP and secularism and BJP versus inclusiveness.
What is the prime target for the Congress – strengthening the organisation or defeating the BJP?
We will form our government. It is not about defeating the BJP. It is about forming our own government. We are very much confident that we will form the government.