Why have you moved from Hamirpur to Sujanpur?
It is not my decision, nor did I ask my party about how, why, where and who. I had been contesting from Bamsan, which was scrapped after delimitation, and a major part of it is now part of Sujanpur and Hamirpur… I contested from Hamirpur, and had a good base in Sujanpur as most of Bamsan has become part of Sujanpur.
Why has the BJP not announced a chief ministerial face when you have been CM twice? Will the delay affect the party?
Those who have decided about the CM candidate should spell out the reason for the delay…. They must have thought about everything.
Is there competition for the CM’s post with Union Health Minister J P Nadda?
Whoever it is, will be from the BJP.
If Nadda is announced as the CM candidate, how will the party fare?
You can imagine that yourself.
Your name is at 23rd place in the BJP list of 40 star campaigners, Nadda is at 8th…
Union ministers and central leaders are higher up in the list because they have only to campaign, not to contest, and can take out more time for campaigning. Among the state leaders, my name is at first place.
How will you take out time for campaigning in your new seat?
In the last elections, I went to my constituency only on the last day and won with a good margin. I have been working for the party for over three decades and my supporters have been working with dedication for my victory, even if I am campagining outside.
Are there any differences with Nadda over the shifting of AIIMS to Bilaspur, after your son Anurag Thakur, the Hamirpur MP, has proposed it for Hamirpur district?
Anurag had taken up this matter at the Centre when Harsh Vardhan was health minister, and proposed it for Hamirpur because Shimla has the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital and Kangra district has the Tanda Medical College. Mandi too has an ESI Medical College and Hospital, and this was proposed for Hamirpur. Then the state government wrote to all deputy commissioners to identify land and it was the DC of Bilaspur who completed this work first, and they got it. It hardly makes any difference because Bilaspur district too is part of Hamirpur parliamentary constituency.
What are your plans for Himachal, if you are declared the CM candidate?
Himachal Pradesh has got completely derailed financially under Congress rule and I would like to set it right. Maintaining law and order — by checking forest, land, sand and drug mafia — revamping the road network, and providing employment to youth would be my priorities.
As far as choosing between you and Nadda as CM candidate is concerned, how do you expect the assembly segments of Hamirpur, your son’s constituency, to vote ?
I don’t compare persons. Anurag had become MP from Hamirpur thrice of his own, not because of me. I want to say, however, that 11 out of the 17 assembly segments in Hamirpur are currently held by the BJP. You go by your observation.