Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur on Monday described the Congress as leaderless and directionless and claimed that the people of his state will never accept the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) either. He added that his government is contemplating to implement the Uniform Civil Code in the state and a study is also being carried out in this regard.
On Sunday, Thakur while speaking with IANS, answered several important questions on issues like the state’s political situation, preparations for Assembly elections, political attack by the AAP, challenges faced by the Congress and implementation of the Uniform Civil Code in the state.
Q: Since Himachal Pradesh will go to the polls soon and no government has been voted to power for two consecutive times here, do you think this jinx will be broken this time?
A: It is true that after 1985, no government has been voted to power twice in a row, in this state, but this time, we will break the jinx. There was a similar custom in all the five states were polls concluded recently. But the BJP was then voted to power for the second consecutive term in Uttarakhand.
After almost 37 years in Uttar Pradesh, a government has been repeated. That’s why the custom has changed and this change is not only restricted to Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa, but all over India. Hence, the BJP government will win the elections in Himachal Pradesh again.
Q: Till now, the main contest here has been between the BJP and the Congress, but this time the AAP is also competing as Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal has been visiting Himachal Pradesh frequently.
A: See, Himachal Pradesh has never accepted any third option, so there’s no room for doubt here. They are trying to prove their presence in the state but they will not get any success. The people of Himachal will not accept AAP’s strategies of making offensive comments and unparliamentary allegations about others. No matter what he says, there’s no place for him in Himachal Pradesh.
Q: However, Arvind Kejriwal is constantly targeting your government. They are even saying that you have copied their political roadmap?
A: It is not that he only considers himself intelligent, he deserves to believe that no one else has that much brains. The schemes that we are running in the state are not from today but for years we have included new things in some of the schemes. He (Kejriwal) should understand that BJP is the biggest party not only in the country but in the world. We have the leadership of visionary Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and National President JP Nadda. We don’t need to copy anyone.
Q: How big a challenge do you consider the Congress to be? Can Prashant Kishor also play a big role in deciding the election strategy of the Congress?
A: Naturally, the Congress is the oldest party in the country and has been in power in the state for years but at present it has become a leaderless and directionless party. As far as Prashant Kishor is concerned, he is only advising the Congress, but we have a strong organisational structure and a strong leadership at the central level. Our Prime Minister is Narendra Modi and our party’s national President is JP Nadda, who is from Himachal and we have also the support of Amit Shah. Due to these reasons, a strong BJP government will be formed in the state.
Q: The BJP had three core agendas: Article 370, construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya and Uniform Civil Code. Article 370 has been removed from Kashmir, the work on the construction of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya is going on and many states with the BJP government are also considering the Uniform Civil Code. What do you think about this in Himachal Pradesh?
A: This is a good decision (a step taken by some BJP state governments), it has sent a message in a good direction. The state government is contemplating, studying to implement Uniform Civil Code in Himachal Pradesh also. We have asked the officials to examine what kind of law can be brought in the context of Himachal Pradesh. We don’t want to take any hasty steps as we want to bring it to the state in a better way.
Q: You have been continuously claiming to form the government again in the state. But what do you have to say about anti-incumbency in the state? It is also being said that the party is going to cut the tickets of about 20 per cent of the MLAs?
A: See, in the government, sometimes, due to various reasons, there can be slight disappointments or disagreements among the party workers or in the public. In this regard, the central leadership will conduct a survey, study according to the seat and after that, the party leadership will decide on ticket distribution. But I can say that there is no such period of anti-incumbency in Himachal Pradesh.
Q: Have you set any target regarding seats?
A: I will only say that the BJP government will be formed again in Himachal Pradesh and it will be formed with a good majority.