'BJP will decide its parliamentary party leader'
By Prabhu Chawla
Published: 08th Jul 2012 12:40:47 AM
Karnataka is a family dispute, senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh tells The New Indian Express Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla during Teekhi Baat on IBN7. Excerpts:
Why raise petty issues when the presidential election seems decided?
It is not a question of petty issues, the Congress-led UPA government should have spoken to all political leaders and decided the candidate in agreement with them. Congress has faulted in that; it has committed a blunder. Maybe because of this reason things have come to such a pass.
You said that they should have initiated, but your leader announced a candidate earlier.
Not at all.
Kalam sahab’s name was announced at a press conference, then the Congress went ahead.
Not at all. As far as Kalam saab’s name is concerned, this discussion was going on from before.
He has written about Sonia Gandhi in his book, and that Atalji told him that he should avoid going to Gujarat. Did you think that Kalaam saab could do something like this?.
I am surprised.
But your support for him has weakened...
It is not a question of our rooting for him, there is a perception about him all over the country.
If this book would have been released earlier, would you have behaved differently?
This is a hypothetical question.
You did not get your own candidate, so you adopted Sangma sahib...
No, on the issue Presidential elections, when political parties arrive at a consensus...
There was no consensus...
Some political parties have arrived at consensus. AIADMK, BJD, BJP, Akali Dal, all these parties have arrived at consensus.
You are opposing Pranab Mukherjee. Who better than him do you have today?
When elections are happening to the highest constitutional post, then at least the principal opposition party should be taken into confidence, and a decision should be taken. Healthy democracy is expected.
What about your own party, in which there are leaders but no workers?
What are you saying? Which is a bigger cadre-based party than the BJP in the country today?
From the time Atalji has been inactive, you have come down from 180 seats in the Lok Sabha to 116-114. After that you lost two elections...
Political ups and down happen in the lifetime of every political party.
In Karnataka, from the time chief minister has been appointed, resignation has been tendered six times. You are being blackmailed, one old chief minister of the state, against whom corruption cases are registered, he is dictating who will become the chief minister. What is this discipline?
It is natural that on some issues, there is a difference of opinion.
What is the issue, I am corrupt, save me?
No, no, what I am saying that the problems that had erupted there.
Which means that the earlier chief minister that you selected was not right.
It is not a question of Karnataka, you would have seen that in the BJP, whenever there is an issue arises, the solution to that issue has taken through dialogue.
It seems the BJP has betrayed its mandate in Karnataka.
Nobody can blackmail the BJP...
If there is no blackmail then why are you talking about changing the chief minister?
It is our party.
I agree that the BJP is an alternative to the Congress but how is that your workers are not with you?
There are governments of BJP and BJP’s allies in nine states.
Congress is in 15 states
They are small states.
What if the chief minister of a state decides who will campaign on behalf of the BJP...
Like Nitish Kumar said that Modi sahib will not come and you agreed he will not come...
This is not a question of agreeing.
Who will decide the Leader of BJP Parliamentary Party in 2014?
Our parliamentary board will decide. BJP will take decision on parliamentary board. After that, NDA will also give a thought to it, all allies.
But you will choose the leader of the parliamentary party.
Yes, BJP will decide. But normally, any big party of any alliance, when it takes a decision, commonly its allies also accept it.
You mean to say that the leader which the biggest party accepts, other people will have to agree...
I am not talking of compulsions...
Who will be BJP Parliamentary Party leader, will this be elected by BJP or JD (U)?
This will be decided by BJP parliamentary board, BJP MPs will do.
What will be the BJP’s agenda in the elections?
There is no paucity of issues
What will be the issue to defeat the Congress?
Congress-led UPA government has led this country to ruin. The economy has got completely derailed.
You do not support FDI...
BJP will not allow small business to be ruined.