Sunday, October 24, 2021

People Fed Up of Joblessness, Price Rise, Kamal Nath Says As MP Gears Up for Oct 30 Bypolls


Madhya Pradesh Congress president and former chief minister Kamal Nath in an interview with News18 criticises the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government for inflation and unemployment, and says the upcoming bypolls will set the tone for the 2023 assembly elections as people are “hassled with ‘goondaraj’ (hooliganism) of the BJP”. The bypolls will be held on October 30 in three assembly seats, Jobat (SC) in Alirajpur, Prithvipur in Niwari district and Raigon (SC) in Satna district, and one Lok Sabha constituency in Khandwa. Counting will take place on November 2.

Amidst Punjab fiasco and rumblings within the Chhattisgarh Congress, Nath quipped disagreements were part of any “family and Congress knows how to solve them”.

Here are the excerpts from the interview:

Last year’s bypolls were fought on ‘Gaddari’, ‘Bikau’, what are the issues for polls this year?

Public is fed up of joblessness, corruption and price rise. Inflation has made life difficult for the poor. In the 16 years of rule, BJP has rendered two generations jobless. ‘Bikau’ (on sale) is still an issue as BJP had to steal candidates as the party does not have candidates of its own.

There was a controversy on 27% OBC quota issue, your take on the matter?

We had implemented the reservation. The BJP government wrote letters to make other departments intervener. Finally, it was implemented from 2019. The Shivraj (Singh Chouhan) government got it pending for a year and half. Government’s counsels took 19 months to understand the decision.

BJP is celebrating valour of tribal icons, do you think it’s connected to vote bank politics?

Yes, BJP holds events for votes. Our government had decided to build memorials. We waived loans up to Rs 1 lakh. Took care of their sacred places. Took forward Gondi language. Mooted ‘Asthan Yojana’. Freed them from ‘Sahukar’ (money lending) system. But what did the Shivraj government do in 19 months? They offered tribals rice only fit to be consumed by the cattle, offered crimes and malnutrition, which is their true face.

Will these bypolls in MP set the tone for 2023 assembly polls in the state?

For sure, presently each and every section is hassled with ‘goondaraj’ (hooliganism) of the BJP as the party is busy in ‘makan’ (house), ‘dukans’ (shops) and ‘thekas’ (contracts). During the Covid-19 pandemic, the public had a nightmare with the loot in hospitals, fake injections and fake plasma. The ruling party people instead of helping out public were caught selling beds in hospitals. The public won’t forget it and it’s now a fight of the public.

Would you like to comment on CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s current tenure in power?

He is a global guru in weaving a web of deceit for being in power. His tenure will be remembered for economic, social and moral degradation.

Will the Congress suffer in future polls due to resenting leaders like Captain Amarinder Singh in Punjab and TS Singh Deo in Chhattisgarh?

Agreement and disagreement are part of any family and Congress knows how to solve them. We have cited an example in Punjab by appointing a Dalit Chief Minister and this step has earned praise from across the country.

Your take on Congress’s internal upheaval especially due to several party seniors taking on party high command of late?

Congress doesn’t suppress expression within the party. Everyone expresses his or her views and we draw a unanimous conclusion and move forward.

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