India is a country of youth and now young blood is taking an active part in politics. In the past five years, there are many young faces who have joined politics like Jignesh Mevani, Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakur and others. They have made a name for themselves.
To know more about what these young leaders think about the country, about its present political situation, journalist Anurag Sason has an in-depth, exclusive conversation with one such young leader, an independent MLA from Gujarat, Mr. Jignesh Mevani.
Here are important excerpts from the interview: (Scroll down to watch the complete interview)
Q1) What will happen in this Lok Sabha elections 2019?
Jignesh Mevani: See, I am not into predictions but whatever has happened in this country in the last four years has never happened earlier. PM Narendra Modi has failed on almost all fronts. He has failed to deliver something substantial. He has failed to provide jobs. His graph of popularity has terribly come down. His economic policies have led to nothing less than 1.5 crore loss of jobs, forget about creating new ones.
The primary demand of 50-60 crore youth is jobs. They don’t want any mandir or masjid. PM Modi couldn’t deliver and people don’t see him as a symbol of hope.
69 per cent even then (in 2014 LS polls) didn’t vote for the NDA. So now there is no reason to vote for the present government. 31 per cent who voted for the NDA, their hopes are also now completely shattered.
The NDA will be losing five to six seats in each state. At this juncture, it appears to me that they will not cross 160-170 seats.
There is a strong chance that PM Modi is not going to become the Prime Minister again.
Q2) What are the chances of Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) in this upcoming national elections?
Jignesh Mevani: Mahagathbandhan will actually take shape after the results. As such, it is not the grand alliance which is fighting against the BJP. There will be the regional alliances and these regional alliances seem quite strong.
Q3) How the BJP will perform in the state of Gujarat in LS poll?
Jignesh Mevani: Last time the BJP won 26 out of 26 seats and this time there is a genuine chance that the number will reduce to half.
Q4) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has entered active politics. Do you think that this will change the bargaining power of the Congress party in the grand alliance?
Jignesh Mevani: Undoubtedly. She will be a factor.
Q5) Centre has come up with an economically backward upper caste bill. Do you think that it will affect the Lok Sabha elections 2019 results?
Jignesh Mevani: PM Modi wants to appease the so-called upper caste of society. The government is offering lollipop to the upper caste people. It is merely an election gimmick.
However, my worries are this could be the first step by the BJP and the RSS to start working towards their long pending agenda of distorting the Constitution.
Q6) 70 years have passed since India achieved independence. Do you think we still really need reservation?
Jignesh Mevani: Do we still have social exclusion? The answer is yes. Do we still have untouchability? The answer is yes. Are the phenomena of caste intact? The answer is yes. Are the SCs/STs subject to the worst kind of atrocities? The answer is yes. Let us put an end to all this and then we can address this question.
Q7) Do you think that the reservation should be based on caste or it should be based on need?
Jignesh Mevani: It is the need of the SC/ST and tribals that they are now not socially excluded.
Q8) Your comments on the recent “CBI Vs Mamta Banerjee” episode in West Bengal?
Jignesh Mevani: The BJP is using the CBI against Mamata Banerjee, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mayawati and Arvind Kejriwal.
Q9) You were also a journalist. You have done a diploma in journalism. So why you left journalism and joined politics?
Jignesh Mevani: When you are quite young, you enter journalism thinking that you will change the world but ultimately you realise that there are many things which get “edited”. I entered journalism to bring a change in society and eventually I realised that there are many other ways of bringing the change. So I started working at the ground level as an activist and that activism has brought me into politics.
Note: Jignesh Mevani also has a strong message for youths of the country. Click the interview below to see what he has to say.
WATCH FULL INTERVIEW:
About the author: Author is Deputy Editor in India TV and tweets at @AnuragSason
The interview is taken in the personal capacity and is exclusively for this website.
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