For a first-time MLA, how does it feel to be a minister as well?
Ministers don't have any say in today's democracy. Only those who have a good rapport with the CM can get their work done. Dekho ji, this is God's gift. Agar yeh 31 aur 32 ka ganit nahin hota to mujhe kaun poochta. (If there was no 31-32 problem, no one would have cared for me.) I was just a small-time local politician working at the zilla panchayat level.
You've been in the BJP for the last 20 years. Have you now given up the ideology of Hindutva?
The thing is that it takes time to change your ideology. But what is the point in clinging to the leaders whose thinking is wrong? After all, people have elected me for development. If that is not done then the people will spit on my face. What is the point in having a car with a flag fluttering in the front?
There are apprehensions that you may again switch over to the BJP?
I'm a new dervish; I'm still being seen with suspicion. I believe them (the Congress) but they don't. How can they? If you employ a new servant, you always keep an eye on him. Whether he is flicking something or he is interacting with the neighbours—you always doubt him. I told the Cabinet that if Shanta Kumar was chief minister, I would not have been here.
Is it true that you were kidnapped?
I was so bloody terrified that I remembered all the devatas of my village. But they pushed me to Holly Lodge. Virbhadra Singh said if you agree to support us, we will make you minister. But it is my free will to support anybody.