MoS, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, who was once BJP in-charge of Bihar, is confident of the party doing well in the state. In this Idea Exchange moderated by Senior Editor D K Singh, he regrets the controversies generated over Maharashtra Sadan and Sania Mirza.
D K SINGH: Is your government embarrassed by the latest episode involving the Shiv Sena?
It should not have happened. There should be a basic code of conduct in public life. It’s an unfortunate incident.
COOMI KAPOOR: You were in charge of Bihar during the last general elections when the RJD and JD(U) were fighting against each other. In the coming bypolls, the RJD, JD(U) and Congress are all together. Do you see this as a disadvantage?
During the past four years, I have been associated with Bihar as a political activist. I have toured Bihar extensively in 2004-2005 as the president of my party’s youth wing. Bihar is a dynamic state. Whenever anyone has tried to rule it through arithmetic calculations, that person has failed miserably. Bihar has the zeal to develop and to lead — what we call the ‘Bihari pride’. The Congress ruled the state for a long period of time. In the 1990 and 1995 Vidhan Sabha elections, Lalu Prasad was leading, but he emerged a real leader only after he became the chief minister. He changed the politics of Bihar and did everything in his own style. 1995 was his election. And 1996 onwards, Bihar accepted a new kind of politics that was called reactionary politics, but I call it positive politics. Then, Jharkhand was formed. After 2005, the positive thing was that people across all socio-economic backgrounds came out to vote. This was repeated in 2014. The BJP will take Bihar to greater heights. If we are able to bring together different communities in the state, we will consider that as our success.
SUNIL JAIN: You have set up a committee to look into gas pricing. If the Oil And Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) is not able to produce gas at $4.2 and the only solution is to keep importing at $11, $12, $13, then what are you trying to achieve by delaying it? What are you trying to examine?
There is no such committee. The new government is taking the gas pricing issue very seriously and a lot of debate will happen to come continued…