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When BJP gains majority in Gujarat, Bhupendra Patel ‘doubtless’ will be CM: Amit Shah to News18

If the Bharatiya Janata party gains a majority in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Gujarat, incumbent Prime Minister Bhupendra Patel will return to the post “undoubtedly”, Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah said in an exclusive interview with Network18 Group. Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi on Monday.

Shah participated in News18’s Gujarat Adhiveshan program in the election-hungry state and spoke on a range of topics including state elections, freebie culture, uniform civil code, the struggle for Sardar Patel, the situation in regions like Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, India’s international status, border issues, internal security and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

Defining Freebies

The interior minister shared his view on what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described as “revadi culture”, trying to distinguish between elevating the underprivileged and almsgiving.

“Supplying someone with electricity is not a revadi, but paying off the electricity bill is. Giving someone a house is not a revadi, but keeping it tax-free is. We make toilets, but we don’t do the repair work,” he said.

There was an ongoing delay after Congressional rule in the Center, which hit the country’s poor the worst. And helping such people is not a revadi, Shah said.

“Giving someone a house, gas hookup, electricity, Ayushman card, free food grains during Covid times, these are not free benefits, but an attempt to raise people’s standard of living,” he added.

About UCC: ‘We keep our promises’

Speaking on the issue of a unified civil code, the interior minister said that no secular country should have laws based on religion. “Our manifesto states that we are coming up with a Uniform Civil Code. In every secular nation there should be equal laws for the citizens of all religions. This is the promise of our manifesto and we will deliver on it… We have promised a Ram temple in Ayodhya and you will see it. We promised to remove the triple talaq, and we have done it… I ask Congress to openly take the position that UCC should not come,” he said.

Asked how the Uniform Civil Code would be enacted in Gujarat, he said the assembly will pass a law and it will be implemented.

Congress attacks on Sardar Patel row

Congress has alleged that the BJP has renamed a cricket stadium in Gujarat by removing the name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and adding the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In response, the union’s interior minister launched a scathing attack on the opposition party.

“Congress has no right to pronounce Sardar Patel’s name,” he said. “The Gandhi-Nehru Parivar has always tried to push Sardar Patel into the background. Narendra Modi created a grand statue for Sardar Patel. No convention leader has visited it to pay respect. Congress is spreading misinformation. The entire sports complex is named after Sardar Patel, and one stadium is named after Narendra Modi.”

He added that if all goes well, the Olympics will be held at the Sardar Patel sports complex.

Shah said that during the attack on the Congress in the 10 years of Sonia Gandhi-Manmohan Singh’s reign, the country saw scams worth Rs 12 lakh crore. “It was difficult to count scams under the reign of Congress and it is difficult to find scams under the rule of the BJP,” he added.

On Gujarat and Himachal polls

Speaking about the Gujarat elections to be held on December 1-5, Shah claimed that the ruling BJP will increase both its vote share and number of seats by a record margin and come to power under the leadership of Bhupendra Patel. He also rejected all chances that the Aam Aadmi party would have a major impact.

“The people of Gujarat have never accepted the concept of a third party. It is a custom of Gujaratis that they listen to anyone who has something to say. And if people are affected by these statements, then I have nothing to say. The outcome will speak for itself,” he said.

He also said that in Himachal Pradesh, where the elections have just ended, the BJP will retain power with a similar result to previous polls. He said Prime Minister Jai Ram Thakur is leading the party. “He will continue as CM if we form the government in Himachal,” he added.

‘Brought democracy to the ground in J&K’

As for the situation in J&K, the interior minister in Kashmir said the former democracy was limited to three families: the Gandhis, the Muftis and the Abdullahs. Now Narendra Modi’s government has done the job of pushing democracy down to the grassroots, he added.

India’s security forces have always fought against terrorism, but no one took on those who encouraged terrorism, Shah said. “We have relentlessly cleaned up the support structure of terror in J&K,” he added, pointing out that record numbers of tourists are visiting J&K and that among BJP Dalits and tribals in the region are finally getting their due.

On when polls could be held in Jammu and Kashmir, he said it would be up to the Election Commission to decide.

After AAP formed the government in Punjab, public order there has undoubtedly suffered, the union’s interior minister said. But he added that the center and the state will work together to improve the situation.

Speaking about the troubling issue of drug trafficking and several major seizures in Gujarat and other parts of the country in recent months, Shah said that even if a small pack of drugs is seized, government agencies are “executing from top to bottom and bottom to top”. to-top investigations” in an effort to uproot the entire drug trafficking network.

International Business

Shah also spoke about the turbulent situation in Pakistan and what impact it could have on India.

“Whatever the danger from Pakistan, it will remain on that side of the border. We will not let it come to India, I can assure everyone that,” he said.

When asked about India’s stance on Pakistani-occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin, Shah declined to comment but said the ruling BJP’s stance has not changed.

He also underlined India’s growing status on the world stage under Narendra Modi’s government by referring to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

“As a long-time student of international affairs, I had never seen this before,” he said. “35,000 Indian students were detained and Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to Russia and Ukraine to stop the fighting for some time. And for 72 hours there was a ceasefire.”

‘CAA is maintained, LWE loses’

Some commentators had also raised questions about the fate of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which had seen protests by certain sections after it was passed. “CAA is the law of the land. It was delayed due to Covid. But it will be enforced, there can be no doubt about that,” Shah promised.

On internal security, the interior minister said government forces in Bihar and Jharkhand are fighting a decisive battle against left-wing extremism on the decline.

Asked about allegations from opposition leaders over the misuse of central agencies by the ruling BJP, Shah said: “If people have grievances, they should go to court and not to the media… Our government is prosecuting cases on merit.”

With parties, most notably the BJP, already formulating plans for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Shah said he expects more seats from Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in the south, and greater improvements in Odisha and West. -Bengal. “In 2024 we will hold power with an even greater number than in 2019,” he said.

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