Congress will realise farmers not in a mood to support it: Vinay Sahasrabuddhe

The BJP is gearing up to counter opposition to Land Acquisition Bill by reaching out to people in a big way and thereby project its pro-poor image. In an interview with Sanjay Jog, the BJP vice president and director of party’s public policy and research centre Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe explains party’s strategy.

BJP has been targeted especially on the land acquisition bill by opposition and NGOs for being pro-rich and pro-industry. How party plans to counter it by its pro-poor projection?

In a way it’s a part of our renewed efforts. Having gathered the feedback from State Governments, many of them ruled by Congress; we hoped that Congress and other opposition parties will see reason and support the new bill, which was based on views of their Chief Ministers too.

But unfortunately, they embarked upon the same old Politics of Poverty. They painted the new bill dark and created huge mis perception. In order to undo the impact of this misinformation campaign, we have to take special efforts and this campaign is aimed exactly at that. The question is more that of perception, which is wantonly created by anti-BJP forces and a section of media.

Despite amendments to the land acquisition bill and the issuance of new ordinance opposition especially Congress is stepping up its agitation against the government. How will you change the perception being anti farmers?

We only have to reach out to the people and spread right and factual information. We are reaching out in a massive way and making people aware. We are making people ask questions. Where was the socio economic impact assessment when land was given on a platter to Vadra or for that matter coal blocks were allotted to crony corporates for a toss.

Besides where was the consent clause then? If Congress is so concerned about the farmers why did it take so many decades to provide for pension to the farmers? It was our Government that enhanced the social security net phenomenally.

Does party’s make over plan necessitated considering assembly polls in various states?

What make over? Organisationally, we are in a healthy state of affairs. We have; back-to-back won several assembly elections and all set to win in Bihar too. Besides, wherever people are fed up with two available alternatives, in States like Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Bengal too BJP is making strong inroads as it is seen as the third and the most credible of the available alternatives. Hence we have every hope in the ensuing polls.

We have through our very successful membership campaign converted our voter base into some kind of an organisational base. We have also been trying to end the crisis of purpose most political parties finding themselves in the grip of.

Congress proposes to launch pad yatra against the land acquisition bill and says it will not compromise. What is your comment?

We offer our best wishes. They will soon realise that farmers are not in a mood to go with them. They can no more be hoodwinked. They know who have given them pension or schemes like soil health card etc.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitely declared that government will implement reforms keeping poor at the centre stage. Does that mean decisions barring few like Jan Dhan failed to consolidate party’s pro poor image?

That is an absolutely wrong interpretation. When in power, Party works as a bridge between the people and the Government. Besides, at the implementation level, sensitivity towards the needs of the weaker sections is extremely important and that is what we will be ensuring. We care for both, Jan-Dhan and Jan-Man too.

Opposition also claim that Achchhe din so far remains on paper as Inflation, slow pace of industrial growth among other things continue to be a matter of concern. How this will be changed?

Who says Achchhe Din has not been achieved? They are there and one needs to look at the changes objectively and on the backdrop of what was the situation just ten months ago. People were fed up with indecision, leadership crisis and mis-governance.

Now, every citisen is aware and convinced that there is someone sitting in Delhi who cares from them. During last ten months, Government has succeeded in deleting the word CORRUPTION from political dictionary of the country. While introducing auctioning of minerals , coal and spectrum as well.

We have added crores to the Government coffers that were looted by the earlier rulers in broad daylight. Could opposition get even a single chance to stall parliament on the issue of corruption? We have given Rs 1.88 lakh crore more to the states as compared to last year, Jan-Dhan to pension and insurance, what proof of Achchhe Din one wants?

Can you please provide further details with regard to party’s Antyodaya hamara sankalp?

Antyoday has always remained high on BJP agenda. Literally speaking it means taking care of the most disadvantaged section on priority basis. This was propounded by both, Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.

In so far as translating this in governance is concerned, in the late 1970s, when we had our Bhaironsingh Shekhawat Ministry in Rajasthan, he had first conceived and implemented Antyodaya programme at village level.

Now, we are looking at it as more of a social extension or outreach programme. On the agenda are four things. Eradicating manual scavenging, eradicating female feticide, promoting clean Ganga and also Swachchha Bharat. Party leadership expects that party cadres engage themselves in these activities in a more pro-active manner.

In a way, this reflects the realisation on the part of the Party that the days of routine, traditional politics – which is considered as worn out and jaded — are over and people expect politics to break new grounds leading to a greater and real-time value addition through the process.

Politics being seen as synonymous with one-upmanship, crafty and cunning ways of dealing, treachery, leg pulling is something that does not gel with the aspirations the modern society. Our Party leadership is deeply conscious of this change.

Has objectionable statements by ministers and some party leaders damaged BJP’s image especially PM’s growth agenda? Will party take stern action if ministers and leaders continue to make communal and castiest comments? 

Party is seised of the matter and our leadership has taken appropriate view of these MPs. They will do whatever is needed sooner than later.