Q: What is the biggest takeaway from this election for the BJP and the NDA?
People of Bihar have voted for development and continuity. The electorate has supported us to fulfill Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for Atmanirbhar Bihar that goes with the Atmanirbhar Bharat. We are accepting the mandate and will work towards fulfilling the pledge we have made for the development of Bihar in our manifesto.
Q: An issue that has received traction and drawn crowds during the campaign was the talk of economic justice. Opposition RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav could draw massive crowds by raising it. What does it tell you when the BJP is embarking on a new journey in Bihar?
See, economic justice can be provided only by those who have transparency in their economic activities. The party that does not have a transparent or clean track record on providing a corruption-free leadership cannot do that justice. That’s why people have rejected them. Economic justice also means law and order, distribution of resources to the last man etc. We have tried to make these things a reality. What we have to do now is to take it forward.
Q: What have you learned from this election, which has made you the leading force in the NDA in Bihar, for the road ahead?
For BJP, working for the people is a mission and governance has been the BJP government’s major focus. People have told us we have to give even better governance and we are committed towards it.
Q: Do you think a Chief Minister whose governance record in the last years has come under scrutiny is fit to lead again?
Our central leadership had already decided that we would fight the election under his (Nitish Kumar) leadership. His leadership has been good and performance in the last five years has been. He has succeeded in taking care of the basic things like water, road, etc. Now that it is done, aspirations of the people have become stronger. We have to work and fulfil them.
Q: There are some voices in the BJP who want the party to rethink the decision. Do you agree?
There is no such issue in the party. The central leadership has taken the decision and what they decided is our stand.
Q: So, Nitish Kumar will continue for five years?
We will go by the decisions taken by our central leadership.
Q: One issue that has come up during the campaign was shortage of jobs and lack of quality education. How would the BJP address them?
BJP promised providing 19 lakh jobs in its manifesto—they would be provided in farm produce organisations, education and health sectors and in the IT sector. The schemes the central government has initiated would be useful for meeting these challenges.
Q: Now that the BJP has become the larger partner, would that reflect in the cabinet formation? Will it be proportional to the party’s strength?
These are hypothetical issues. We will together work to see that our pledge to people is fulfilled. The BJP Parliamentary board will sit and decide.
Q: Is the BJP disappointed with the performance of its smaller allies?
No, every party contributed to the victory of the NDA. Everyone’s contribution is important. Their performance in making the NDA a winner has been really good. In elections, one wins or loses. But the support base of each party played a role in NDA’s victory. The clear mandate we have got is the result of hard work of four parties.
Q: By when can we expect a new Bihar government in place?
The BJP parliamentary party will have to take a decision on that.
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) November 11, 2020
Q: What would be the BJP’s stand on LJP now?
It has chosen a different path and is on it now. In Bihar, it has chosen a different path and tried to be a spoiler, but failed in that too.
Q: Did it not help the BJP at all?
It tried to defeat us and the NDA, which was unfortunate, but failed.
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