July 05, 2020
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‘The Mandir Is Dearer To Us Than Life’

Ousted UP CM Kalyan Singh spoke to Outlook.Excerpts:

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‘The Mandir Is Dearer To Us Than Life’
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Did you resign or were you sacked?
I have resigned out of respect for the wishes of the prime minister.

Were you alone held responsible for the electoral debacle?
That’s for the high command to contemplate. So far, there’s been no analysis of the election results. I want an objective analysis of this decisive defeat.

Why were you removed even before an analysis?
The high command has every right to take a decision even before an analysis. Hamara high command lajawaab hai. Iska yeh matlab nahin ki high command ke pass jawaab nahin hai. The high command is my mantra, yantra and tantra.

You believe sidelining the Ram Mandir issue cost the party dearly...
The movement was strongest in UP. We should analyse why we sidelined an issue dearer to us than life.

Why did the BJP compromise on this?
That’s for Shriman Atal Behari Vajpayee to know. I’m only a humble party worker.

Why didn’t you raise it earlier?
In the two years and 40 days I was chief minister, I have consistently raised it.

Aren’t there differences on this?
No one in the high command has contradicted me.

But it’s not on the NDA agenda.

The Ram mandir may not be on anyone’s agenda, but both Ram and the Ram Mandir are central to my personal agenda. I have sacrificed for it.

Aren’t you isolated on this?

Crores of people are with me, how can I be alone? Yeh to aag jaisa mudda hai. Ram Mandir ban ke rahega (The Mandir is a burning issue; it will certainly be built), whether through dialogue or legislation. No masjid will ever come up on the Ram Janmabhoomi. The Ram Mandir is an issue of national pride and of national identity.

Why have you refused an alternative assignment?

I don’t want to be a Union minister or governor or even a party office-bearer. Lakhs of workers do not hold any post. Kalyan Singh is also a worker. This is one post which can never be prefixed with the word bhoothpoorva (former).

You didn’t campaign in central UP? Was it because of Sakshi Maharaj?

There’re a lot of areas where no leader went, can we say they were working against the party? Sakshi ka haua khada kar rakha hai hamaray netaon nein (he’s been blown out of proportion by our party leaders).

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