In the last 10 years, politics in India has transformed from that of sloganeering and unkept promises to one of hard work and delivery, says Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics, IT, Skill Development and Jal Shakti, and BJP candidate from Thiruvananthapuram.

“Politics of performance is what essentially defines 10 years of Narendra Modi ji. It is for voters to make a distinction between who is a political performer and who is not. It is much more than just two people with two bio data applying for a job,” he says.

Excerpts from an interview with businessline:


Do you think the debate is as much about political messaging as it is about policy?

Yes, it goes deeper. It’s about the future of India, the state of Kerala and Thiruvananthapuram. In the last 15 years, Kerala in general, and the city in particular, has seen very little development, compared to the rest of the country.

The case that I’m making to the people of Thiruvananthapuram is this. To expect you can build social or physical infrastructure without a growing economy is basically going back to the old Marxian philosophy of taking a small cake and cutting thinner slices and distributing to a large number of people.


How do you react to the brewing protests on CAA?

I’m saying this with all the responsibility in my command. There are parties running so desperately out of ideas that the only strategy they have is appeasement. They are entitled to that. But when you misrepresent something to just simply gain the votes of a particular community, you are effectively lying to get votes.

The CAA is a simple legislation that effectively says religious minorities persecuted in neighbouring countries will be fast-tracked into citizenship. It doesn’t say anywhere that any community is prohibited from seeking citizenship. My opponent has been more than facetious with his take, and has been deliberately wrong about it.

He says what about Muslims who are persecuted in Pakistan. Now, first of all, if a Muslim is persecuted in Pakistan, it will not be based on religious persecution. Nothing prohibits that person from applying for asylum in India. There’s nothing in the CAA that says he cannot apply for asylum. Many Afghans have made India their home.


The Opposition is attributing motives to the timing of CAA’s notification…

How can one say that? The Bill was passed three years ago. If you want to be suspicious and cynical about everything, well, you have a right to do it and you obviously can do it. And I certainly will not dispute your right to do it. But that doesn’t make it the truth. Just because you conflate the timing with intent and connect it to some conspiracy doesn’t make that the truth.