Thursday, Sep 29, 2022

'Congress Fighting Against Itself, No Challenge To BJP': Uttarakhand CM Dhami

Ahead of the polls scheduled to be held on February 14, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami speaks exclusively to Outlook on a wide range of election-related issues.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. (Facebook/Pushkar Singh Dhami)

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami says that the Congress is fighting against its own people in the ensuing state assembly elections. He also claims that the BJP will return to power with more than 60 seats in the 70-member assembly in the hilly state. Ahead of the polls scheduled to be held on February 14, Chief minister Dhami speaks exclusively to Atul Bartariya on a wide range of election-related issues.

(Edited excerpts)

What are the preparations of your party for the assembly elections?

The BJP has made all preparations for the polls. Workers right up to the booth level have been assigned responsibility. Our organisation is taking the achievements of our government to the people apprising them that the BJP alone can work in the best the interests of Uttarakhand.

The BJP is seeking public support on which issues in the elections?

In Uttarakhand, our double-engine government has done immense work in every field. A lot of things have been done in the road and aviation sectors. Prime minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of schemes worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore. The BJP government has worked solely in the interest of the people of Uttarakhand in the past five years. It has connected every section with mainstream society. This election is going to be fought over the achievements of the BJP government and the old deeds of the previous Congress regime.

Since the distribution of tickets, dissatisfaction over many seats has come to the fore. Several BJP leaders have sounded the bugle of rebellion. How is your party dealing with it?

You cannot call it a rebellion. Actually, every seat has several claimants. It has happened because of the love and affection of the people for our party. But the ticket can be given to only one candidate. We have talked to those who have not been able to get tickets. It is being explained that the BJP is coming back to power. Soon, everyone will work for the BJP only.

Do you see any harm to the party caused by the recent removal of cabinet minister Harak Singh Rawat?

The BJP is a cadre-based party where the worker is the most important functionary. If someone wants to become something else, then there is no place for such people in our party. It is, after all, run by the workers and not by the leaders.

Aam Aadmi Party is also contesting on all seats this time? How do you look at it?

AAP is different in its behaviour and character. This party pops up only during elections and then disappears. The people of Uttarakhand are not going to give any importance to such a party. It is not going to make any difference to the prospects of BJP whether AAP contests or not.

What will be the stand of BJP on Gairsain? What is your party going to do if it comes back to power?

Gairsain is definitely an issue related to public sentiments. Keeping this in mind, the BJP government had declared that it would be made the summer capital. It has already has done a lot of work to make it a reality. After returning to the government, BJP is going to do more for Gairsain.

The BJP’s former CM Trivendra Singh Rawat has refused to contest elections. How do you look at his decision?

As Trivendra ji has also said, he wants to work for the party across the state. The party high command also intends to make the most of the capabilities of Trivendra ji in such a way that the entire state gets benefited. Trivendra ji is working across the state for the victory of BJP candidates.

How big a challenge is Congress for the BJP in this election?

Congress is not a challenge for the BJP in this election. The Congressmen are only fighting amongst themselves over the distribution of party tickets. The Congress is being challenged from within the Congress itself. In such a situation, what challenges can the Congress party pose to the BJP this time?

How many seats do you expect BJP to get in the elections this time?

This time, the BJP has given a slogan of saath paar (above 60). Every worker of the party is working hard to achieve this target. When the results will be out on March 10, you will see how brilliantly the BJP has done it in the state.