There is no vacancy for the prime minister’s post in 2019, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday said, and expressed hope that BJP-led coalition will retain power in the next Lok Sabha polls.
The “anti-Modi front” has over two dozen aspirants for the prime ministerial post but they will not be able to provide stability, he claimed. Naqvi alleged that some political forces were trying to disturb the Narendra Modi-led government’s agenda of development, peace and prosperity by creating fear among the minorities.
The minorities in India are safe and their rights are secured, he asserted. “The people of the country are with the development agenda of the Modi-led government. But there are some people who want to hamper it,” he said at a press conference at Panaji. “There are some people who are standing with the anti-Modi front but they should understand that there is no vacancy for the prime minister’s post in 2019,” he said.
The minority affairs minister was in Goa to highlight the achievements of the central government led by Narendra Modi, in the four years it has been in power. Naqvi said Modi was committed to inclusive growth and development. “You can see results on the ground. The government has taken development as a mission,” he asserted.
“The ‘common minimum commitment’ of the anti-Modi alliance is corruption, contradiction and confusion, while our biggest fight is for development with dignity,” he said. Right from demonetisation to surgical strike, important decisions are taken by the prime minister and the positive impacts are seen in the country, he said. Naqvi said the anti-Modi morcha has more than two dozen aspirants for the prime ministerial post who, he claimed, will fight among themselves. “There is a long queue in the anti-Modi front. So they cannot provide stability.”
Naqvi ruled out possibility of the BJP changing its face in the next year’s Lok Sabha polls. “Our leader is Narendra Modi and under his leadership we would fight the 2019 elections to seek votes from people of the country. I am confident that people are in favour of development, and are against an anarchist alliance,” he said. To a question, Naqvi said a political consensus is required to hold simultaneous polls for the Lok Sabha and the state Legislative Assemblies.
Simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and the Vidhan Sabha are in the interest of the country. “That is why the prime minister requested all political parties to think about it.” Some political parties have responded positively, some have not, he said. “I feel in the interest of democracy and the country, it is necessary that simultaneous elections are held. But for that you require consensus among the political parties,” he said.
To a question on alleged fear among minorities, Naqvi said, “Unfortunately some political forces are trying to disturb the agenda of development, peace and prosperity.” “If you leave some isolated incidents, in the last four years there have been no major communal incidents. Some isolated incidents have happened. And those isolated incidents were controlled timely and action was taken,” he said. The minister said those involved in such incidents were arrested and sent to jail.
“The minorities in India are safe and their rights secured compared to any other democratic country (in the world). Our stand towards development of minorities is not related to vote bank,” he said. In the last four years, the Centre has worked for the weaker sections and minorities, he said. “Before we took over, the school dropout rate among girls from the minority communities was over 72 per cent, now it has reduced to 42 per cent. Our commitment is that in the coming two years, we want zero dropout rate from any section of the society, specially the poor and minorities,” he said.
Listing out the government’s welfare schemes, he said in the last four years, the Centre has distributed scholarships worth Rs 2.66 crore to minorities, of which more than 50 per cent was meant for girls. On the employment front for minorities, he said, the government has provided jobs to 5.43 lakh people and created employment opportunities in the last four years. To a question on if the BJP would continue its tie-up with other NDA partners in the 2019 elections, Naqvi said the BJP is honest to the alliance and committed towards it.
“In 2014, we had the full mandate and numbers. But we formed the government with the alliance partners. Even today, we are honest to the alliance and we are committed to it,” he added.