Supriya Sule says her fight is with BJP and not Sunetra Pawar

'The BJP believes in fear. We are freedom.'

PTI04_07_2024_000382B Supriya Sule | PTI

Interview/ Supriya Sule, MP

The outcome of Supriya Sule’s electoral battle in Baramati against cousin Ajit Pawar’s wife, Sunetra, will most likely decide which way her political career moves. In an exclusive interview, she talks about her biggest strengths in the battle and how there is a sentiment against the BJP all over the country. Excerpts:

The BJP believes in scaring people. They believe in fear. We are freedom. Our forefathers had given up their lives for freedom.

Q/ How do you see the contest with Sunetra Pawar?

A/ For me it is not a fight with Sunetra Pawar. My fight is with the BJP.

Q/ How confident are you about victory?

A/ Let’s wait for the outcome. I am here to serve the people. I don’t believe in ruling. Power is a tool to serve the people. This is not entitlement, this is service to the nation.

Q/ Has the MVA got its seat sharing issues sorted out?

A/ All issues have been sorted out. The MVA will do well and we will see it on the day of results. I don’t have a number in mind, but we will do well. Surveys are saying so, people are saying so. The state and the country are going through an extraordinarily challenging time. Unemployment is at its peak. Price rise is a big issue. You are seeing where the economy is going. IITs had a 100 per cent placement record. But now 35 per cent from IITs do not have jobs. If IIT graduates don’t get jobs, who is going to get jobs in this country? It is alarming.

And, the big plank with which they came against us, corruption, what happened to that? There are so many. From Kashmir to Kanniyakumari, the story is the same.

Q/ Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi is not part of the MVA. It damaged you badly in the last election?

A/ Times have changed. You can’t compare. Every election is different. Look at the change. Look at the situation. Everything keeps changing dramatically.

Q/ In your constituency, VBA is supporting you. Had this happened across Maharashtra, the result would have been different.

A/ We tried out best [to bring the VBA into the MVA alliance]. But some differences could not be solved.

Q/ It appears that all the office bearers of the NCP have moved to the Ajit Pawar camp.

A/ Ultimately it is the people who vote. And you are probably only talking about pockets. I have travelled my entire constituency. I have full faith in my voters. My biggest strength is my parliamentary performance. Secondly, my contacts with the people at the village level. Thirdly, the development. And, I don’t have a single corruption charge against me. These are my four biggest strengths.

Q/ Sharad Pawar said the situation is not very encouraging for the BJP.

A/ Isn’t it obvious? Look at the price rise. Corruption was their biggest plank against us. Look where they stand today. And unemployment. There is a huge economic backlash, which is an undercurrent. I’m surprised you’re not even aware of it. Electoral bonds is something that I had predicted in my Parliament speeches. Water price rise, onions... I have spoken about all these issues. There is not an issue that is alarming in this country today, which I have not predicted or warned the administration about.

Also, we don’t believe in scaring people. We don’t believe in fear. We believe in the Constitution. The BJP believes in scaring people. They believe in fear. We are freedom. Our forefathers had given up their lives for freedom.

Q/ Do you think the arrests of Arvind Kejriwal and Hemant Soren are pointing towards the fact that democracy is a danger in this country?

A/ Of course, it is. It is evident. Look at Anil Deshmukh, Sanjay Raut, Nawab Malik, and then Arvind Kejriwal. It is obvious and it is very sad because this is not the India I grew up in. Today people are scared to talk on the phone. People are scared to talk against the government. It is a hostile environment.

Q/ Will the MVA win more seats that BJP-led alliance in Maharashtra?

A/ I can’t give a number right now, but we will certainly win.