Kolkata: The BJP has not left issues like
Ram Mandir, but the new generation in the party was laying
more stress on economic issues and good governance, its
President Nitin Gadkari has said.
"BJP has not left issues like Ram Mandir, but is
giving more stress on economic issues. I am from a new
generation and it is natural that economic issues will receive
emphasis, as also GDP, politics of development, progress,
besides nationalism and good governance," Gadkari said during
an informal interaction with the media here last night.
Replying to questions, Gadkari said "unfortunately
the BJP has been given a tag of being communal which we are
trying to remove."
About the prime ministerial candidate of his party,
the BJP chief said it was an issue created by the media.
"There are many leaders in the party to become PM. When
election comes, the candidate will be finalised."
Asked if the BJP was ready for mid-term Lok Sabha
elections, Gadkari said "We are ready."
Stating that his party hoped to get another chance to
rule the country, he said "we hope to get over 170 seats in
the Lok Sabha. Once we cross 170 seats, we will have more
allies and we will not remain communal and untouchables any
"And, we expect to secure even 200 seats in the 2014
To a question, he said with the Left parties having
been decimated in the last elections, the main contest would
be between Congress-led UPA and the BJP-led NDA in 2014 Lok
The BJP would also fare well in the February, 2012
elections in UP, he said.
Slamming the UPA government, Gadkari said "it has been
plagued by various scams, like CWG, 2G and financial scandals,
and failed to deliver as it is neck deep in corruption.
"Price rise is unchecked, food inflation has crossed
a staggering 12 per cent and the government appears helpless
pursuing its wrong economic policy," he claimed.
"Wrong fiscal policy and bad and corrupt governance
have eaten into the system under UPA rule," he said, alleging
that there was no employment potential and per capita income
"On the count of credibility, leadership and honesty,
the UPA has lost its position," he said.
Gadkari was critical of Trinamool Congress chief
Mamata Banerjee`s `silence` over the UPA government`s
`corruption`, and said "while she is very vocal against the
CPI(M) and against anything wrong, surprisingly she keeps
silent on the corrupt UPA of which she is a major ally.
"Crime and abetement to crime are equally punishable
offences and Mamataji is no exception," he said of the party`s
On Anna Hazare`s crusade against corruption, he said
"if Anna receives support, it is welcome. We have no regret
for this. I don`t know what Congress thinks over it."
Speaking about the performance of BJP-ruled states,
he said that Gujarat was a role model, while good work was
reported from Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatishgarh
Gadkari said that BJP was also doing well in the
governments in Bihar and Punjab.