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The Congress under Rahul is not the same, says Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

TV Jayan Patna | Updated on April 17, 2019 Published on April 05, 2019

 

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is fighting his maiden Lok Sabha election from Patna Sahib constituency in Bihar. Pitted against him is ex-Bollywood star and two-time BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha, who recently switched to the Congress. Edited excerpts:

 

How do you see the general elections shaping up?

This election is between hope and opportunism. What is important is that under Rahul Gandhi, the Congress is not the old Congress. Today, the Congress is more comfortable with the tukde-tukde gang. What kind of manifesto it has come out with? Is India not suffering from terrorism? Are our forces not facing motivated false complaints? Don’t we need to take action against separatists? Hence, don’t we need AFSPA? The Congress has repeatedly given signal to terrorists and separatists that they have its patronage.

Under Narendra Modi’s watch, India has emerged as a world economic powerhouse. As the minister of electronics, I can say with confidence that India is a globally-recognised emerging digital power.

With programmes such as Ujjwala, Ayushman Bharat, soil health cards and e-hospitals, we are changing the narrative of governance and delivery, with stress on transparency.

And what is the counter-narrative? No leader, no programme and no common goal.

Who is their prime ministerial candidate? Mamataji or Mayawati? Or the one that needs to be propped up by his own sister?

Second, NDA is cohesive. Mahagadbandhan is disintegrating even before it took shape. The Left, the Trinamool Congress and the Congress are fighting with each other. The Congress is out of gathbandhan in UP. Chandrababu Naidu, the great leader of the Mahagadbandhan, is normally of the Congress in Andhra. In Bihar, I don’t how long will they survive. There is already a family partition happening.

How confident are you of winning this election, which is also your maiden Parliamentary contest?

In my constituency Patna Sahib, five of the six Assembly seats are held by the BJP. This has been a traditional BJP bastion. The BJP and the RSS were born here. They are all keen to see Modiji as Prime Minister again.

I was born here and was an ABVP worker for 10 years. I went to jail as part of the JP movement.

I owe completely to my party for my evolution. I worked as a booth agent in the early 1970s. The journey began from there.

 

All three major candidates, including you, are from Kayastha community. How do you think it’s going to play out.

I am the candidate of all the communities of Patna Sahib, from the lowest to the highest. My work in the past is spread all around.

How do you see the competition going to be? Your rival is two-time MP from Patna Sahib.

There has been unease among my party workers when my rival was nominated as a candidate in the past. Still, they worked hard to make him win — not once, but twice.

 

Are you confident that NDA would do better this time?

NDA is not only a big political combination, but also a social combination. It is represents aspirations of all the sections. Nitish Kumar government is doing well in the State.

 

For detailed coverage: Elections 2019

Published on April 05, 2019
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