Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari on Friday wished the AAP well for the upcoming state assembly elections in Goa, claiming that AAP would ensure a “Congress-mukt” Goa, if it campaigns aggressively enough and ensures the BJP’s victor.
Gadkari, addressing a press conference in Panaji after meeting BJP ministers, MLAs, office-bearers and party workers over the last two days, also sounded confident of resolving the differences in the Goa Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ranks, claiming the division would not impact BJP votes.
“I had decided to conduct a detailed survey when I was appointed as the in-charge of the Goa polls. I have got the preliminary report. AAP’s entry is good and useful for us. Out of 10 votes, if they eat away two of our votes, they will claim 10 Congress votes. I wish them well, because they will help us win…it will help us indirectly,” Gadkari said making a tongue-in-cheek remark.
Asked whether the Goa polls would further the BJP’s dream of a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’, Gadkari sarcastically said that ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’ was a dream of Mahatma Gandhi and the Congress party was working overtime to fulfil it.
“It is moving in that direction. AAP will bring Congress down. It was Mahatma Gandhi’s dream that Congress should leave politics and India should be Congress-mukt. The Congress appears to be saying, ‘Bapu, we will fulfil your dream and we will start this dream from Goa’… Congress is working towards Bapu’s dream and AAP also appears to be pushing them in that direction with all its vigour,” Gadkari said sarcastically.
Asked if the split in the RSS camp, led by rebel Sangh leader Subhash Velingkar, and the latter’s plan to float a political party with a specific motive to defeat the BJP, worried him, Gadkari said, “Sometimes some Sangh members have taken up such roles in the past, but history says that they eventually stick to the Sangh… I am confident that we will find a solution and that it will not affect the poll prospects.”
Gadkari also expressed confidence of continuining with the current alliance with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), adding that the BJP would on its own win 25 out of the 40 seats in the polls, which are likely to be held in early 2017.