HT interview | Even Opposition is saying... abki baar 400 paar: Anurag Thakur | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

HT interview | Even Opposition is saying... abki baar 400 paar: Anurag Thakur

May 13, 2024 07:08 AM IST

Union minister Anurag Thakur speaks to HT on a range of topics, including the political turmoil that hit the hill state earlier this year.

Union minister Anurag Thakur, who is seeking another term from Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur Lok Sabha constituency and is scheduled to file his nomination on Monday, speaks to HT on a range of topics, including the political turmoil that hit the hill state earlier this year.

Union minister Anurag Thakur. (PTI)
Union minister Anurag Thakur. (PTI)

Why should the people of Hamirpur vote for you again? What is your poll plan?

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The poll plan is (to ensure) stability and continuity of the government. We are going to the public with a list of achievements of the (Narendra) Modi government like Make in India, from ‘fragile five to first five economies’, making our borders more safe and secure and strengthening our armed forces, and the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, which brought a smile on the face of Kashmiris. We also had more than 11 peace accords in the Northeast. In every sector, India’s progress is evident. Prime Minister Modi achieved in 10 years what the Congress could not in 60 years. The continuity of the government will help us to continue our developmental and welfare agenda.

After the political turmoil in Himachal earlier this year, following the Rajya Sabha elections, your party has been accused of starting horse-trading politics in the state.

They (Congress) could not manage their own house. Despite having (the support of) 40 MLAs in the Rajya Sabha polls, they lost. We had only 25. And if you also count the independent MLAs, they had 43 and despite that, we won the election. That means they lost confidence and have no moral authority to remain in power. They could not fulfil their promises they made 16 months ago. The women are still waiting for 1,500 per month, which they promised to deliver on the first day (of assuming power in the state). Cow dung was not purchased at 2 and milk at 100 per litre, and the youth has not been given 500,000 jobs. They all feel cheated. That is why you can see the wave in Himachal; we will win all four Lok Sabha seats and all six by-elections.

What went wrong during the 2022 assembly elections in Himachal? Even in your home turf (Hamirpur), the BJP lost all five seats.

Something must have gone wrong (in places) where we could not win the elections but we have progressed from there and have done course-corrections on the shortcomings. You could see yesterday, thousands and thousands of people hit the streets (during the Vijay Sankalp Yatra in Hamirpur) and you could see the enthusiasm and the electrifying crowd. It clearly shows that the people have made up their mind, just not to win but to create history in Himachal.

You are a prominent figure in the central government. Do you envision your future political trajectory leading you towards Himachal? Will you return to state politics someday?

I am very happy to be a member of Parliament from Hamirpur… the kind of love I received from my constituency. Also, I have never restricted myself as an MP to work only for Hamirpur. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, I installed three oxygen plants in Hamirpur, Una and Bilaspur, I also extended help across Himachal Pradesh.

It doesn’t matter if I am a central minister or chief minister. I am a political worker of the BJP and if they tell me to contest today and campaign tomorrow, I will do that.

What are your views on the overall political landscape of the country?

I think I can hear one voice all over wherever I travel, which is “My choice Modi, My Choice Modi, My Choice Modi”. So, I think Modi is the most popular leader of the world and he is the choice of India.

Your opponents have said that after the first phase of the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP is not talking about ‘400 paar’ anymore and even PM Modi is nervous.

I do not think so. ‘Abki baar 400 paar’ is on the tongue of every Indian. Even the Opposition is saying it. I think the Opposition also knows that we are coming to power again and now, they are trying to mislead the people by saying that the BJP will cut down the SC/ST quota… It is the Congress which took away the 5% quota of SC/ST and OBCs and gave it to the Muslims.

INDIA bloc leaders have been speaking against the Agniveer scheme and they have promised to abolish it, if voted to power.

We have fulfilled the promise to ex-servicemen by bringing ‘One Rank, One Pension’. We have strengthened the armed forces by providing them with the latest fighter jets, warships and weapons. We built 6,800km of roads in border areas. As far as the Agniveer scheme is concerned, thousands of youth turned up during the recruitment drive. It shows their interest in the scheme.

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