Modi factor will be big in assembly elections: BJP’s Kiran Maheshwari
Maheshwari talks in an interview about Narendra Modi factor in the elections
Kiran Maheshwari , national vice-president of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said in an interview that the Narendra Modi factor will play a decisive role in determining the outcome of the 1 December elections to the Rajasthan assembly. Maheshwari is contesting the Rajsamand assembly seat.
What is the biggest challenge for the BJP in Rajasthan? What are the issues being raised by your party in this election?
The Bharatiya Janata Party is fighting the election on the development plank because we believe that the Congress party has not developed the state in the last five years and people still compare the regime of (the BJP’s) Vasundhara Raje of 2003-08 with Ashok Gehlot’s (Congress) government. Unemployment is a major issue and that is why the BJP has promised 10 lakh jobs. The Congress leadership at the Centre as well as in the state is facing corruption allegations. People want change and we think that voters will choose the BJP this time. The case is no different at the national level as well. People are talking about the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime under former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee with the present Congress government under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). People of Rajasthan are also suffering because of the lack of infrastructure development; lack of proper roads, shortage of power and little access to clean drinking water are some of the other issues which are being raised by the party.
The BJP leadership in Rajasthan has acknowledged that the scheme to provide free medicines to people by the Congress government will benefit the people. How do you plan to counter this popular move?
There is no doubt that the scheme is good but that is not enough. There are serious questions being raised on the quality of medicines and the unavailability of doctors in government hospitals. There is a shortage of 35% doctors in the state so the scheme has not been implemented properly. People are also suffering because medicines are not of good quality and don’t cure them. The government should have planned the scheme better and implementation of the scheme needs a lot of improvement....people still have to travel long distances to get medical attention.
BJP is suffering from infighting in the state and the same problem was one of the reasons why the party lost the 2008 assembly election. How do you plan to stop infighting?
There is no infighting in the state and all the senior leaders are together. The BJP leadership in the state and at the national level are all working towards forming a BJP government in the state.
All political parties are focusing on first-time voters and young voters in the election. How will the BJP, especially Vasundhara Raje, appeal to the youth to vote for BJP?
In the last three months before the assembly election, the BJP leadership under Vasundhara Raje had written letters to all first-time voters asking them to vote for the BJP.
The party also asked all the members of the legislative assembly and candidates to take the names of first-time voters from the Election Commission and write letters to them. The BJP is also using social media to reach out to the young voters. The manifesto prepared by the party also focuses on first-time voters and young voters; that is why the BJP has promised 10 lakh jobs and a loan of Rs.20 lakh for people who want to start their own business in the state. The youth wants a bright future and the BJP is committed to giving them opportunities to fulfil their dreams.
BJP leaders are upbeat about the Narendra Modi factor in these assembly elections. How important is the Modi factor in Rajasthan?
The Modi factor will be big in the assembly elections because the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP is not only popular in the cities, but also in the villages. People want Narendra Modi to win the elections and the teamwork of Vasundhara Raje and Modi will play a decisive role in the assembly elections.
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