Parimal Dabhi interviews Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani
How is the BJP planning for these elections?
The BJP does not work only during elections. We remain among the public all 365 days of the year. Our biggest strength is that Gujarat is seeing rise of the politics of development. BJP governments after 1995, whether it is Keshubhai or Narendrabhai, have taken Gujarat to new heights.
Are you confident of 150 seats?
In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, we won all the 26 constituencies and were leading in 165 Assembly constituencies. Therefore, the 150+ target… People want a Congress-mukt Bharat. This is not our ahankar (conceit), but our ganit.
If the BJP has done so much work, why is it so dependent on canvassing by PM Modi?
In each election, the Central leadership comes. And Narendrabhai is the pride of Gujarat. Why should we not insist he come to Gujarat? Whenever he comes, Gujarat benefits. We do our bit, but Gujarat feels special vibrations with the arrival of Narendrabhai.
Does Rahul pose a challenge?
He is not a challenge at all. Wherever he goes, the Congress loses. He is not aware of Indian culture.
And what about Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mewani?
They are people with vested interests doing politics with individual goals, facilitated by the Congress. They are speaking the Congress’s language.
At many places the BJP’s Gaurav Yatra is facing protests.
Five people shouting slogans for media attention cannot be called a protest.
The social media campaign Vikas Gando Thayo Chhe has gone viral.
It is only on social media, and that too in their (BJP rivals’) social media groups. Not only we, the people of Gujarat have also ignored it. It (the campaign) is nothing but perversion.
The Vijay Rupani government has made a series of announcements in the past year, the latest being reduction of VAT on petrol/diesel. Are these not election-oriented announcements?
Certainly not. Vijaybhai’s, Nitinbhai’s, BJP’s government has made 474 decisions in one year. All in the interest of the state, as required.