RAJYA SABHA Member of Parliament and senior leader of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and a constituent of BJP-led NDA government, Naresh Gujral, Tuesday described the Assembly Elections results and trends of five States, particularly of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, as “alarm bells for BJP and NDA ahead of 2019 parliamentary election”.
Akali MP also said he felt it was important for the country to be led by NDA, but added, “However they need to get off from their high horse and start talking to regional parties”.
”It is alarm bells for BJP and NDA. We have to recognise the fact that in 2014, we won on the agenda of transforming economy and governance,” Gujral told The Indian Express, adding that “Today they (BJP led NDA government) moved away from that agenda under pressure from Sangh Parivar – sometimes to temple issues, cow issues, building massive statues or changing names. These things don’t fetch you votes. People are impatient. Today there is discontent among farmers and urban young who are looking for jobs”.
Gujral said Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi were “very smart” by promising loan waiver for farmers.
“I would say Congress and Rahul Gandhi acted very very smart by promising loan waiver to farmers, state after state,” Gujral said, adding, that Congress did the same in Punjab elections.
He said it was another matter how many farmers benefited from the loan waiver in Punjab, however, said, “You come across as someone who is pro-farmer, who is pro-poor. That is where there is disconnect between BJP, NDA and the people.”
Gujral said he saw “hard times” for the NDA in upcoming 2019 elections, especially in light of a “likely alliance” between Mayawati led Bahujan Samaj Party and Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh for Lok Sabha polls.
Akali MP said that during previous NDA government led by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the BJP had won Assembly Elections in all three states- Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, but despite that NDA ended up getting only 138 seats in 2004 parliamentary polls.
“Despite a tailwind at that time when BJP won all three states, the NDA managed to get only 138 seats in 2004 polls,” Gujral said, adding that there was “headwind” now as BJP was losing all three states] which may seriously affect numbers in Hindi heartland in upcoming parliamentary polls”.
Akali MP, however, said, “ I still feel it is important for the country to be led by NDA because we need a strong anchor which can only be provided by the BJP”.