We are confident of winning three-fourth of the seats in Maharashtra: Bhupender Yadav

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on October 11, 2019

Bhupender Yadav

Confident of winning at least three-fourth of the seats in Maharashtra assembly elections, Bhupender Yadav, BJP General Secretary in charge of the State’s polls, said the party is committed to rural development and farmer issues. In an interview with BusinessLine, Yadav said the party is focussed on balancing national and regional aspirations and that discussions with Shiv Sena should be seen as constructive dialogue in a democracy. Excerpts:

Infrastructure development is a big concern in Mumbai. Now with debate on tree felling in Aarey versus Metro rail project, what is the view of the BJP?

Mumbai’s infrastructure development is a big issue as it is the economic capital of the country. The Centre has made its stand on the Aarey issue clear. A comprehensive DPR had given six-to-seven options for the location of the shed. Based on the feasibility of the project, environment and economic aspects, this place was selected. There have been two rounds of litigation. The State government has said 10 times more trees will be planted as a part of compensatory forestation. This is accepted. One cannot deny that Mumbai local trains are overburdened and the city needs a Metro rail system. The Maharashtra government is committed to have a over 300-km metro project ready in the next five years. We believe it should not be made into a political issue but should be viewed more comprehensively.

How has BJP been campaigning in rural Maharashtra given the serious drought and issues facing farm loan waivers?

Rural development has three aspects for BJP. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has focussed on water resources, irrigation systems and also addressing water problems with other States. The second aspect is infrastructure development. In the last five years, rural roads and electrification have been done in a big way. Third, the government has worked for economic inclusion by fair distribution of the State’s resources by schemes like Ujjwala Yojana and those for pension and health. We have also worked on employment. Self-sustained development is important for societal development. This has been our commitment and will continue to be so for the next five years also.

Your coalition partner Shiv Sena does not see eye-to-eye with you on many issues. Has there been talks on the Deputy CM seat for Shiv Sena?

When two political parties work together, both have their own identities. So it is normal that the two will have some debate. This is also called constructive discussion in a democracy and should not be taken otherwise. On the issue of Deputy CM, Shiv Sena has not said anything officially but they may want to expand the party. I don’t want to comment on it.

It is felt that there is hardly a presence of Opposition parties in Maharashtra. How many seats are you confident of winning?

Opposition’s job is to question the government on its policies. Since the time the Congress Party has been in opposition, it has never addressed issues. It has always looked for personal publicity and unnecessary criticism, which the people never like. In Maharashtra, we are confident of winning three-fourth of the seats.

How big a role will the Balakot attack and abrogation of Article 370 play in the State elections?

All issues are important but to have a strong India is the expectation of all Indians. Our Prime Minister has coined the term NARA, National Ambition and Regional Aspiration. The core belief of BJP is cooperative federalism. We are not Congress, which misused Article 356 or let a temporary provision such as Article 370 continue perpetually. BJP’s first consideration for decision making is the nation.

BJP has brought in many rebels at the State level?

We have not inducted rebels. If some people want to join the BJP and are willing to accept our thought process and ideology, then we should welcome them. Every party expands itself in such a manner.

Will banking sector issues like bad loans or the recent PMC Bank crisis be a factor in the elections?

Economic reforms required a fair regulatory mechanism and a transparent system, which the NDA government brought over the last five years. It is very interesting that the Law Commission had in 1960 given a report for bankruptcy law but Congress did not do anything.

BJP brought the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, which we amended as and when needed. We also brought changes to the DRT and Sarfaesi Act in the NDA’s last term. We also brought amendments when required to SEBI Act for black money and unregulated chit funds. We have taken big steps to bring stability and openness in the economy and are seeing good results now.

IBC is a resolution mechanism which provides a way of relief in a very steady, fair, transparent and professional manner. Earlier if a company was sick, then litigation was through multiple courts. By this law, we have provided a one roof settlement process in a fixed time period. IBC is not a recovery machine but a way where the stakeholders come together and arrive at a decision together. It is a way for ease of doing business. The law we have brought is to provide a mechanism where the society does entangle in contagious court processes. It is an attempt to move from a litigiousness society to a litigation free society.

Finance Minister has spoken on an alternative to the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill. What can that be?

FRDI Bill has been closed, and it will not be revived. The government is looking at alternatives but I am not privy to what the discussions are.

Published on October 11, 2019

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