Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami is confident that the BJP will retain power with a decisive mandate in the Assembly elections in the state.
In an interview with The Statesman, he said the people of Uttarakhand clearly understood what was in their best interest and would vote for BJP which has the “inspiring” leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah at the national level. Following are excerpts from the interview:
Q. What are the BJP’s prospects in Uttarakhand?
A: The BJP government in Uttarakhand has worked very hard for the development of the state in line with public expectations. I have no doubt that we will receive a decisive mandate from the people once again and come back to serve the people for 5 more years.
Q. The BJP has changed the leadership thrice in Uttarakhand during the last 5 years. Do you think it will have any impact on the party’s performance?
A: The BJP is a disciplined cadre-based party with a nationalist ideology. Individuals are not important. The people will vote for us based on our collective vision and performance.
Q. With the entry of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the poll fray, Uttarakhand is expected to witness a triangular contest. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has campaigned extensively in the state. Who do you think the AAP will harm in the polls: BJP or Congress?
A: The supporters of BJP are committed nationalists. They will not be swayed by the gimmicks of AAP.
Q. In the event of a hung Assembly, will BJP seek the AAP’s support to form a government?
A: The question does not arise as we are coming back to power with a clear majority.
Q. What is your take on the contest between you, the state’s youngest Chief Minister, and the Congress, led by former Chief Minister Harish Rawat?
A: Will you watch a race between a second-hand Ambassador and a brand new Mercedes? Shri Harish Rawat has played his innings. It is time for him to relax in the pavilion.
Q. Uttarakhand has changed government every 5 years. Do you think the BJP will reverse the trend this time around?
A: Things were different in 2012. This time we have the inspiring leadership of Modi ji and Amit Shah ji at the national level. The people of Uttarakhand clearly understand what is in their best interest.
Q. What do you think of the BJP’s prospects in the other four poll-bound states, especially Uttar Pradesh and Punjab?
A: I think that the BJP will come back to power in all the states where it is currently in power. In Punjab too we shall exceed all expectations and put up a strong showing.
Q. What are the achievements of the BJP government in Uttarakhand during its 5-year term?
A: Our achievements in the fields of infrastructure, direct benefit transfer to citizens, and our tackling of the Covid crisis and our relief measures have been particularly impressive.
Q. In Uttarakhand, the BJP government has started the Char Dham project, can you elaborate on it?
A: The Char Dhams are the crown jewels of our religious and cultural heritage. We are sparing no efforts in giving them a facelift and improving road connectivity to these shrines.
Q. What’s your take on the Union Budget 2022-23?
A: It is a comprehensive blueprint for ensuring stable growth and prosperity for all sections of society.
Q. How do you look at the ongoing Hijab row in Karnataka?
A: This debate shows the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of our Left-liberals. The Hijab has nothing to do with Islam. It is the symbol of the oppression of our Muslim sisters and has no place in modern India.