Fire-brand Hindu leader and founder of the Bajranj Dal, Vinay Katiyar has been known for his straight talk. In a free-wheeling interview with Swati Chaturvedi of Zeenews.com on her show Kahiye Janab, the BJP vice-president talks about upcoming Assembly Elections in UP, Rahul Gandhi’s campaign trail, BJP’s PM candidate and lots more.
Here are the excerpts:
Swati: In BJP today, there is no big leader. Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati and Rahul Gandhi are standing for their party. Amidst all this, BJP has no new face and no policy. Has BJP left everything on God’s will? People are talking about Uttar Pradesh’s division. You don’t have any vote bank. Your party has become a dwarf this time. Is BJP lost in Uttar Pradesh?
Katiyar: No, there is nothing like that. We have a clear vote. It is not appropriate to talk about partition of a state which has 20 crore population. There could have been a proper meeting among all political parties on this issue. That discussion did not happen. Secondly, BJP has always been in favour of smaller states. This move by Mayawati is totally election-based. She will fall down on the ground. In the next coming days, she will be a problem for herself.
Swati: BJP used to be a national party but now it has become a Maharashtriyan party as it has almost become invisible from Uttar Pradesh?
Katiyar: Our party is in power in eight states of India and is in the opposition in the centre. So, it is absolutely false to say that our party has become Maharashtriyan party. This time, BJP will come with full majority and will definitely form the government in Uttar Pradesh. There are two reasons for this – first is Mulayam Singh Yadav’s bad governance which angered the people of the state and gave space to Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party to come to power. But, Mayawati is four steps ahead of Mulayam Singh. Common people are disappointed with her.
Swati: Rahul Gandhi is campaigning against Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party in UP. He is not attacking BJP at all as he knows your party has no scope to come to power in UP.
Katiyar: We too don’t fear the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. After the death of Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru became the PM, then Indira Gandhi came to power, after her death Rajiv Gandhi took her place and now Sonia Gandhiji is at the helm of the party. I must say that the Congress party is the cause of rising prices and growing corruption. This party has weakened the country.
Swati: Congress defeated your party twice and is in power from the last seven-eight years. The people of India and the Congress consider Anna Hazare as their biggest opposition.
Katiyar: Anna Hazare’s first campaign against black money and corruption took place after a detailed discussion with LK Advaniji. Anna’s fast without BJP’s support wouldn’t have been as successful and also the resolution on Lokpal Bill wouldn’t have been passed in the Parliament sans BJP’s support. Only Anna Hazare’s voice was not enough.
People who think that BJP is a weak party are making a mistake. Congress is not in majority in the Centre on its own and is supported by other parties. They have the support of Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Mamata Bannerjee and Karunanidhi. The day these parties withdraw their support, the Congress headed government will fall.
Swati: BJP has powerful and senior members like Rajnath Singh, you and other big leaders who have been chief ministers as well. But, now the situation is such that you have to import politicians like Uma Bharti from Madhya Pradesh. Don’t you have any promising leaders at present?
Katiyar: I don’t agree with you. We have not imported anyone. Uttar Pradesh has always exported itself across the country. Atal Bihari Vajpayee is its biggest example. Sunder Singh Bhandari and Deen Dayal Upadhyayay launched themselves from Uttar Pradesh. In fact, the people feel that BJP had the best governance in UP in terms of administration, law and order, and price control.
Swati: Recently, Rahul Gandhi said that people of Uttar Pradesh are going to other states to beg. What do you have to say on this?
Katiyar: By saying this, Rahul Gandhi has insulted the people of Uttar Pradesh. If he has said so, then his party is in power in the Centre, they should provide all facilities to those beggars in Delhi who belong to UP. We promise that we will provide proper facilities to such people once our party comes in power.
If there is any morality left in the Congress, then why it is seeking support from Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Mamata Bannerjee and Karunanidhi.
Swati: There is disappointment and anger amongst the people across the country because of which they are looking towards Anna Hazare. No one is looking at BJP even if they disrupt Parliament. Is there a crisis of leaders in BJP?
Katiyar: This time, we have decided not to display any face or any name. It is going to be a shocking election in Uttar Pradesh in 2012. Mayawati’s maya will come to an end and people are already aware of Mulayam Singh’s governance. We do not have any dearth of leaders.
Swati: Don’t you think the people of Uttar Pradesh want to see a promising face from BJP as other parties have?
Katiyar: Here, some have formed mother-son party, father-son party, and even single-person party. But, BJP is Bharat’s janata party.
Swati: You belong to Uttar Pradesh. Don’t you want to become CM of UP?
Katiyar: No, I don’t have any such desire. I belong to Ayodhya (Lord Rama’s birthplace) and I have dedicated myself to the service of Lord Rama till the last breath of my life.
Swati: Rajnath Singh recently said that LK Advaniji is the most suitable candidate to be the PM. Do you agree with him? If not, then who is the most eligible candidate from BJP for PM’s post?
Katiyar: For me, all members of BJP are great leaders. Advaniji is highly determined and a person with a vision. So, I think Advaniji is a suitable candidate.
Adapted by Preeti Panwar