“Those who are unable to handle the affairs of the party, can’t run the affairs of the state,” Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami interacts with Arvind Malguri
Are you coming back to power in Uttarakhand?
Absolutely, there is no problem anywhere. This time we have given the slogan ’60 paar’.
Do you think you have a tough fight with Harish Rawat of the Congress?
There is no fight at all. We are not competing with anyone this time. Those who are unable to handle the affairs of their party, i.e, Congress, how will they handle Uttarakhand? The people will not allow them to do that.
So who are you considering as the biggest challenge?
There is no challenge from any quarter. The Congress is divided into different factions – so many groups vying for supremacy. Rawat ji has won only one election since 1999. He was defeated twice. Now, where is the fight with the man who lost two elections while being the Chief Minister? And the Aam Aadmi Party has no mass base here. That’s why we said, we will cross 60 seats this time.
So there is no anti-incumbency factor?
Our party works in the interest of the people. Our aim is the welfare of the last person of the state. Work more, talk less is our mantra. So when everyone is happy with the government then where is the anti-incumbency factor. You can check the latest survey, we are ahead.
Are you under pressure so far as ticket distribution is concerned?
Well there is a process. Whatever fits right with the circumstances, will happen. Everyone plays his part with full faith in the organizational structure of our party. So there is no pressure of any kind.
On which issues are you contesting the election?
The issues are of development, and they have only misled people. With the help from the Centre, public welfare schemes worth Rs 1 lakh crore are going on in the state — from the Char Dham project to the development of rail network in the mountains. I have visited all parts of the state, and I have seen, people are giving us lot of support and the work Modi ji has done — these are our issues.
Are you ready for the digital campaign that has been asked by the Election Commission?
Yes, we are ready. Our campaign is going on. We had two Vijay Sankalp Yatras. Modi ji has had four programs here, Home Minister ji has had two programs, Nadda ji has had four, Rajnath ji has had four, all the leaders have visited Uttarakhand. I myself have visited all assembly constituencies. All festivals have been communicated. As for digital campaigning is concerned, we have always been ready for that.
Will Dhami become the next Chief Minister?
How can I tell about myself, our party works in a democratic way, here there is no family rule.
Is it Dhami vs Rawat or BJP vs Congress?
At this point in time, there is only BJP, we have no competition with anyone.
In between, the rebels keep troubling the party, what about them?
That is not a problem, all are united. The BJP family is big, small things keep happening. You must have seen, a few days ago, many Congress leaders were resigning. We don’t have that situation in our party.
Do you really BJP think will cross sixty this time?
Your tenure has been short, what have been your achievements during this period?
There have been many achievements. We have taken more than 500 decisions — we started Mukhyamantri Vatsalya Yojana, launched Chief Minister Mahalaxmi Yojana, Chief Minister Self Employment Scheme, relief packages to all the people, laid foundation stones for various projects, in tourism, in cultural sector. Apart from that, the honorarium of the Mangal Dal, the village head, anganwadi workers has been increased.
Do you think the people of Uttarakhand are satisfied with your work?
Absolutely, you should find out yourself. About 90 per cent people want BJP back.
The goverment keeps changing here — BJP, Congress every five years…
After Modi ji became the Prime Minister, the history of the whole country has been changing. This time history will change here also.