Interview/ Piyush Goyal, minister of state for power, coal, and new and renewable energy
Your views on the results of the assembly polls.
It is an endorsement of our stand. India wants development and wants to rid itself of the scourge of corruption, which is represented by the Congress. Modi and his government are definitely the focus of the positive results.
[In Assam] people recognised and appreciated the BJP filling the backlog of development. As far as the southern states go, our party workers worked really hard. And, for the first time, people found an alternative to the two parties that have ruled for the last 30-40 years. I see the BJP growing rapidly from here.
Is the Assam victory the jewel in the crown?
One more government has become Congress-free. And, there will soon be opportunities to do that again. In all these four states, we have never had a BJP government. In Assam, we did have some representation, but never on this scale. Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Puducherry never figured in the BJP’s scheme of things for so many years.
It is the confidence of my president Amit Shah that the BJP will expand its presence in these states and will become a national alternative with a pan-Indian presence. That is reflected in the increasing vote share this time.
We fought alone in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and now we will work here. In Assam, we did not contest all seats on our own. But, our performance has been very good.
Why is Congress-mukt Bharat important now, two years after the Lok Sabha polls?
Political opposition is not a problem, it is healthy and a part of democracy. But, the opposition from the Congress is to obstruct development, even development that they started. It is opposing efforts to curb corruption and it is defending a dynasty, where there is no great political talent. That is why we want Congress-mukt Bharat. We are one step closer to it now.
Surveys indicate that the Union government’s popularity is waning; economic performance is below what was promised. Could that be why the BJP did not do better than just winning Assam?
Those who say the economy is static do not want to see the growth. India is the fastest growing economy today, inflation is at its lowest, and there is no corruption charge against anyone in this government.
The people’s court is the ultimate. Being accepted or rejected there is important. We have been accepted because the BJP is devoted to the poor, the oppressed and the weaker sections.
If this increase in vote share is because of the work done by the Centre, shouldn’t the results have been something like Lok Sabha 2014?
The Lok Sabha polls are different. The prime minister was to be chosen on the outcome of that, so every vote was for Modi. Assembly elections should be compared only with the previous assembly poll results.