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Business News/ Politics / News/  Amit Shah interview: ‘Voting is taking place regardless of caste’ says BJP leader; claims saffron win in Lok Sabha polls
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Amit Shah interview: ‘Voting is taking place regardless of caste’ says BJP leader; claims saffron win in Lok Sabha polls

Amit Shah speaks about the BJP's performance in Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha, as well as government initiatives in job creation and inflation management. Shah also touches upon the upcoming assembly elections in Kashmir.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (ANI Photo)Premium
Union Home Minister Amit Shah. (ANI Photo)

Home Minister Amit Shah, in an interview with R Sukumar and Shashi Shekhar from Hindustan Times, spoke on various topics, including the Lok Sabha 2024 elections, Jammu and Kashmir's ‘statehood’, and more. 

Speaking on the low voter turnout during the first four phases, Amit Shah said that he was initially concerned after the first phase. However, he said, “By the time the third phase of voting began, I discovered that the Opposition’s voters were not showing up." He added,  “They should have cast their votes too, but because of widespread disillusionment among the INDIA bloc’s voters, turnout has fallen." 

Also Read: Does BJP have a plan B if it fails to cross majority mark in Lok Sabha polls? Here is what Amit Shah says. Watch video

Amit Shah added, “In states where you see high voting percentages (this time), like West Bengal, Assam and Tripura, the voting has always been high, and even there, there is some dip in turnout."

Addressing reports that several foreign portfolio investors have found in their surveys that the BJP is not winning as many seats as initially expected, resulting in market sell-offs, Amit Shah stated that foreign agencies cannot conduct accurate surveys in the country.

Also Read: Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 5 Voting Live Updates: PM Modi calls for ‘record’ turnout as polling begins in 49 seats

“There are numerous reasons why the stock market goes up and down. We are monitoring and fighting the elections at the grassroots level. I do not have a single rally after which I do not sit with 40-50 of our workers (to discuss what is happening)."

Amit Shah on Bihar politics

Shah stressed that “no caste-based" mobilisation had taken place. He said, “Voting is taking place regardless of caste. Yadavs also voted for us in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar."

Also Read: Amit Shah says ‘Rahul Gandhi lies publicly’ after Congress MP questioned PM Modi's caste

Speaking on the politics in Bihar and Nitish Kumar's recent party change, Shah said, “Nitish ji is an old friend. Some people took him to the other side due to some misunderstandings. We did not strike a partnership with the RLD because of caste."

Amit Shah's view on West Bengal, Odisha

Shah is confident that the BJP will do exceptionally well in Bengal and Odisha. “In West Bengal, we will get 24 to 30 seats. We will form the government in Odisha (the assembly elections in the state are happening along with the Lok Sabha elections) and win more than 17 Lok Sabha seats," Shah added.

Jammu and Kashmir ‘statehood’

Speaking on the upcoming assembly elections to be held in Kashmir, Amit Shah said, “The Supreme Court has established a time limit for assembly elections, which will be held in August or September. We will undoubtedly participate in the assembly elections and win seats."

Also Read: Kashmir News: BJP will contest on all 90 assembly seats of J&K, says Amit Shah in Srinagar

Noting the record turnout in the Srinagar constituency during the polls, Amit Shah said, “We didn’t contest there this time. The Jamaat-e-Islami and Hurriyat, which previously boycotted voting and refused to acknowledge India’s Constitution, have supported the process this time. Both voted and stated that they were participating in the electoral process in accordance with the Indian Constitution. This is a significant development that has happened in Kashmir."

Amit Shah said on the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir, “As I have repeatedly mentioned, even in Parliament, after the elections are held, we will restore statehood."

Amit Shah on inflation and jobs

Speaking on inflation and unemployment, Shah said that the Narendra Modi government had done much work regarding job creation.

He said, “We have an infrastructure budget of 11 lakh crore. That would have translated into some jobs."

Shah said, “We promoted the idea of self-employment. 470 million people have received Mudra Loans. We provided a loan of 27.75 lakh crore for this. I am pleased that of 470 million people who have Mudra Loans, 99.5% are not Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). About 8.5 million street vendors have been given Swanidhi Loans. We have seen the creation of 1,17,000 startups. In 2016-17, the unemployment rate was 6.1%, and it is projected to be 3.1% in 2023-24. Inflation was double-digit in 2013-14 but has already dropped to 4.83%."

Also Read: ‘Foreign investors taking out money…’: Congress' Chidambaram slams BJP for false claims on Indian economy

He added, “When Modi ji became the Prime Minister for the first time, the country had 22.2 million demat account holders. Today, this figure is 150.7 million. The market capitalisation in 2014 was 85 lakh crore, and now it is over 400 lakh crore. The benefits of this increase have gone to all shareholders — 150 million of them. Young people who are self-employed or in a startup also put their savings in mutual funds or hire an investment consultant. This has become a major source of employment. The Opposition likes to talk about five industrialists who have benefited, but, actually, the benefits have gone to 150 million Indians." 

(This story appeared first in Hindustan Times)

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Published: 20 May 2024, 08:45 AM IST
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