Lok Sabha elections 2019 is less than a week away. The biggest festival of democracy will commence on April 11 and conclude on May 19 with the results to be declared on May 23. Political activities are at their peak with both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) not letting any stone unturned in order to win the national polls.
There is a politically charged environment. To talk about it, journalist Anurag K Sason has an in-depth conversation with BJP MP and veteran political leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy.
Here are the important excerpts from the exclusive interview: (Scroll down to watch the complete interview)
Q1) In Lok Sabha elections 2019, what are the chances of your party?
Subramanian Swamy: Improving every day and certainly, I have no doubt that we will get the majority (of seats). In the coming days, it will improve further because people do not want to go for a khichdi coalition.
Q2) Do you think that in the last five years and your government has fulfilled all its promises?
Subramanian Swamy: From 1952, since the first elections took place, no government has fulfilled all what it promised. Compare to all the previous government, we have done quite well, both on the front of fighting corruption and on Hindutva but in economics, Narasimha Rao’s government did much better. But we have done better than Dr. Manmohan Singh’s government.
Q3) What do you think will be the seat tally this time? More than what you won in the 2014 general polls or less than that?
Subramanian Swamy: The NDA (National Democratic Alliance) might be the same. But this time we may get 275 compared to the last time when we got 282 seats in Lok Sabha. But what matters is that NDA must get a majority and it will get the majority.
Q4) There are alliances taking place in different states. Do you think that they will make a dent in the BJP’s vote share?
Subramanian Swamy: I think the only state from where we have a challenge from an alliance is in Uttar Pradesh. We have no challenge in Bihar. In Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan there is a straight fight so alliances don’t matter. And in the South, we have always been very weak.
Q5) What is the biggest issue in the country-national security, employment or construction of Ram temple?
Subramanian Swamy: Well, I think in terms of immediate and long-lasting effects, Ram temple is the most important because it will be the reversal of what had happened in the last thousand years.
National Security is a continuing process. We have done much better in national security than any previous government. Prime Minister has shown some real boldness by sending fighter jets into Pakistan territory.
So, I think Ram temple is first, national security second and jobs are the third (issues in the country).
Q6) Opposition parties have been alleging that since the NDA government has come to power, there has been an increase in unrest in J&K. Your comments.
Subramanian Swamy: Ask them to produce statistics. What about 500,000 Kashmiri Pandits driven away from Kashmir? Have you forgotten that?
Q7) There has been a recent campaign by PM Modi-“Mein Bhi Chowkidar”. Your comments about it.
Subramanian Swamy: That is his way of presenting the things but I have made it clear that I will not represent myself as a chowkidar. I am a thinker, I plan and I tell the chowkidar what to do. So, how can I be a chowkidar?
And it’s not about that I’m Brahmin that’s why I can’t be a chowkidar. Being Brahmin is a trait. Anyone who is well-versed can be a Brahmin.
Q8) Many are saying that the Minimum Wage Guarantee scheme proposed by Congress president Rahul Gandhi could be a game changer in the Lok Sabha elections 2019. What do you think?
Subramanian Swamy: I think people are now fed up with all this. How he will finance it?
Q9) Reportedly, the BJP is not giving tickets to those who are 75-year plus. Your take on this.
Subramanian Swamy: Who said this? I don’t go by the media reports. Media can say anything. I don’t know the exact reason why Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi and LK Advani were not given the tickets. But they were not told that they are over 75 that’s why they will not get the tickets. That much I know.
Let Prime Minister Narendra Modi say, “When I will be 75, I will not contest the election”.
Q10) Since long you have been fighting corruption. From where you get the strength?
Subramanian Swamy: You always get the strength when you don’t want anything for yourself. Most people are afraid that they will not get Parliament membership, they will not be made ministers, they will not be given foreign tours. I care for nothing. I have been six-time MP. But I never asked for the ticket. This time also I didn’t ask for the ticket.
Many people tell me, and probably that is true, that I’m the second most popular person in the party after PM Narendra Modi. But I never say that I’m popular, give me the ticket.
Q11) Will your fight for the corruption will continue?
Subramanian Swamy: Of course.
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About the author: Author is Deputy Editor in India TV and tweets at @AnuragSason
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