BJP not polarising polls, Congress indulging in appeasement politics: Dhami
Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami says the Congress has been indulging in appeasement politics, right from Independence, for garnering votes
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not polarising the upcoming elections in the hill state, and it is the Congress which is playing “appeasement politics”, Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami contended in an interview with Neeraj Santoshi ahead of polling in the state on February 14.
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The Congress has alleged that BJP is trying to polarise the elections because it has realised that there is a Congress wave in the state? The BJP is not polarising the elections. Under the visionary leadership of PM Narendra Modi ji, there has been tremendous development -- be it roads, railway lines, health care, air connectivity. We are working as per the mantra of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” (development of all with cooperation of all). But the Congress has been indulging in the appeasement politics, right from Independence, for garnering votes. In Devbhoomi, they are not talking about setting up hospitals, schools, roads, railway lines, but about setting up a Muslim university here. The people of Devbhoomi will give a befitting reply on February 14.
With Congress giving a tough fight, do you still think that BJP will win 60-plus of 70 total seats in the state? Yes, surely. That is why we have given the slogan “Ab ki baar, 60 paar” (this time, we’ll cross 60 seats). The people of Uttarakhand will bless us and put a stamp on our slogan.
If the BJP comes to power, what will be your three main priorities as the CM? My main priority will be holistic development of the state. I want to make Uttarakhand the best state in the country by 2025. We will focus on education, health care, tourism, and energy. We have already formed a road map for 10 years.
You are the youngest CM in the state at 46, and now you have been pitted against veteran politician like Harish Rawat, who has vast political experience? Do you think it is one of your biggest challenges?
I have no competition with Harish Rawat. He is a very senior leader. He’s also very old. And the way the Congress has behaved with him, even we don’t feel good about it. The Congress made a mockery of him; he was given a ticket from Ramnagar, then they withdrew his candidature from that seat; then they sent him to Lalkua. He even shared his frustration about party leaders not supporting him on social media. So, it is obvious that his own party here doesn’t take him seriously.
The Congress is alleging that to counter Harish Rawat, the BJP has been forced to bring in central leaders for campaigning here, instead of banking on local leaders?They don’t have any big central leaders. If they bring Rahul Gandhi, that benefits us. Whenever he comes, he helps us in a way. The BJP is a cadre-based party, and we have many big leaders. And why shouldn’t they come here? Congress has only char dham (four pilgrimages), and their char dhams are Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra.
The Congress has made Char Dham (Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath) the theme of its manifesto, with the slogan “Char Dham, Char Kaam”? Whether it is Char Dham, Char Kaam, dharma or culture, it has never been part of the Congress culture ever. It is the work of Modi ji that people who were not into dharma now make a show of it by going to temples and offering prayers.
Many MLAs have left the party or have been expelled from the party in last six months, including two cabinet ministers. Do you think it will hurt the party in some areas? These things happen around elections. Our party is the largest in the world. People come and people go. Some feel they have not been heard; they have not been given tickets.